Thursday, August 31, 2023

Fall Transitions

You may not know it from the calendar, but, according to the farm stands, fall has arrived.  Our local markets still have summer fruits and veggies for sale, but yesterday I saw some big displays of winter squash.  Also, colored dried corn has joined the fresh butter and sugar sweet corn.

Let's spend the last day of August preparing for the fall transition.

Next week, the temperatures will be close to 90F (32.2C) but fall is on its way.

Pumpkins and gourds to get us in the fall mood. 

Warts on pumpkins are desirable.

More warts.

One more before we move onto something else.

A blend of fall (the flint corn on the top row) and summer sweet corn.  Butter and sugar (white and yellow kernels) is the favorite corn in this area.

I'm always dragged kicking and screaming into fall, as much as I enjoy it once the reality sinks in.  

But tomorrow is September, and I have to face the fact that fall is almost here.

What is your favorite season?

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Bathroom Mural For the Birds #WordlessWednesday #4CLSRoadtrip

Yesterday, we visited the Andes Public Library in Andes, New York as part of the Four County Library System road trip.  I mentioned a bathroom mural and today I want to show it to you.

This is a brand new mural, created by artist Diane Lockspeiser of Long Island.  She worked on the mural in May and early June of this year.

Here is their mural in its entirety.  This picture doesn't do it justice so here are some closeups of all the detail.

A barred rock rooster and a mourning dove look at a peaceful (or is it?) cattle scene from the Anti-Rent War (I'm guessing) of 1839-1845 which I discussed briefly yesterday.

Various wildlife, including many birds, adorn this mural.

Don't disturb the snoozing raccoon.

More birds.

The - upright deer blowing a horn? - is a mystery to me. It must refer to a local legend (my guess).
One more to go.

Finally, lazy Rip Van Winkle waking up from his 20 year sleep.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Nostalgic Trip #4CLSRoadTrip

Years back, the grandfather and uncle of my then best friend lived in the Catskills mountains outside of a hamlet in Delaware County, New York.  My friend and her siblings and mother would spend summers up there, escaping New York City for the rural life. Her father would join them on weekends.

 In the early 70's, I was invited twice to visit the family for a week up in Delaware County.  I was back a handful of times to that house since (after her parents moved up there), but never to other nearby villages I had remembered from those visits when I was younger.

As the Four County Library Roadtrip drew to a close (it ends on September 2), my spouse and I decided to visit several of these villages/hamlets I visited during my stays with my friend's family and view their libraries.

One of these hamlets (it was a village when I visited, but they dissolved the village in 2002) is Andes, population approximately 1,000.  Andes is located in a setting of  hills, winding roads, and farmland and was the center of the Anti-Rent War of 1839-1845.  Some called that uprising the Second American Revolution. 

I grew up in New York State and don't remember learning about it.

Much of Andes' downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.  I don't know if the library building is that old but the library itself celebrated its 100th birthday last year. Some renovation work was done in 2020 during its pandemic closure.

As for its setting....

This is the rear of the library.

There is a gazebo for raised beds, which are used for gardening programs.  The library, over the summer, started to install an edible landscape. 

The front of the library.

The inside.

There was a question I had to ask the librarian.  I remembered being taken to a municipal pool during my visits. It's actually one of the few things I remembered of Andes.  Did the pool still exist?  The answer was yes, and, in fact, it was only a couple of blocks away from the library.  

No, we didn't visit it, but it would have made a good stop in this nostalgic trip.

But one thing we did visit was the library's pride and joy-a mural in the bathroom.   I'll show it to you tomorrow, as it deserves its own post.

Although we had other libraries to visit, I want to return to Andes one day and visit the town further.  The place where we wanted to have lunch was closed on Wednesdays, so we picnicked on the library grounds.

Tomorrow, we'll travel back to Andes for a treat (alas, not Andes chocolate mints, which are made in Wisconsin).

Monday, August 28, 2023

With a Little Help From Covers #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday.  It's time for music!  But first, let's introduce the Music Moves Me bloggers.

We are 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!)   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 yours truly.

You are welcome to join our Monday music group.  It's so easy. All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video.  No music video? Your post may be removed, or may be labeled *NO MUSIC*.We alternate theme weeks and no theme weeks.

Today's theme is You Pick.  Saturday, I had a conversation with my spouse during our exercise walk.  On the way to the trail, we had heard Joe Cocker's cover of With a Little Help From My Friends and we got to talking about covers of Beatles songs that we felt were better than the original.   I thought some more, and there are other covers that I feel are better than the originals.

So here are a few of my favorite cover songs.

So let's start with Joe Cocker at Woodstock, covering the Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends.

The last thing I would have expected was a Johnny Cash cover of a Nine Inch Nails song, but he recorded this masterpiece of a cover six months before he died.  The video is a must see, too.

I loved the Bobby Fuller Four's I Fought The Law when it came out, enough to spend my allowance on the 45 when it came out in 1966.  I never realized that was a cover of a song written by Sonny Lewis of The Crickets in 1958 and recorded by them in 1959.  No matter, this 1977 cover by The Clash is even better, in my opinion.

I did know that Led Zeppelin's song When the Levee Breaks was a cover, but, until I researched this post, I had never heard the original by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Mimmie.  The song is based on experiences in a 1927 flood on the Mississippi River.  I decided to include both the original and the Led Zeppelin version.  The original is different but deserves a hearing just for its historical value (I also invite you to watch the video).

Led Zeppelin's cover.  I shouldn't say this cover is better - it's just a different interpretation. 

Finally, a musical performance on this past week's America's Got Talent has people saying it was better than the original.  Here's Lavender Darcangelo and "I Want to Know What Love Is".  If you are interested, here's a little more about Ms. Darcangelo.

And that's a wrap!

Join me again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me, as we welcome September.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Porchfest 2023

It's time for Binghamton, New York's eighth annual Porchfest.  I was going to do my normal annual post:

What is a porchfest?  It's a neighborhood celebration of music and the arts, organized by the community.  People open up their porches to musicians, who play half hour or hour sets.    Some streets close. It's a massive undertaking and my congratulations go to all the hard working volunteers and people who get it done every year, in the tradition of the first Porchfest, held in Ithaca, New York in 2007.

The first Porchfest in Binghamton was in 2015, with 50 bands on 20 porches, and wasn't even officially sanctioned by the City of Binghamton.  Today, there will be 162 bands on 63 porches, stoops, driveways, or other venues, all between (officially) noon and 7pm. It's family friendly, alcohol free (although there are restaurants serving alcohol) and best of all, FREE.  Although, contributions and purchase of T-Shirts and other merchandise is more than welcomed.

Time for enjoyment!

But then, this morning, we found a fraudulent charge on our debit card account (alas, our modern life) and getting this reported on a Sunday was a bit of a process.  And, just as we discovered this charge, I got a text from someone I've worked with, letting me know that her father had passed away.

It was expected, as he had been declining, but still....

Just a reminder from the universe that a fraudulent charge isn't the worst thing that can happen to someone.

So, we'll be leaving in a few minutes to enjoy some sun and music.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

RIP Bob Barker

Another icon of my childhood has died  

Bob Barker, hosts of game shows and other shows (including 20 years of being the Master of Ceremonies at the Miss America and Miss Universe pageanta) spanning over 50 years and an animal rights activist, died today at the age of 99. He didn't retire from game show hosting until he was 88 years old

We thought he was timeless.

Barker hosted the game show Truth or Consequences for 18 years and The Price is Right for 35 more years.  

But he was so much more.  When things went wrong, he was always in control.

He was trained as a Navy fighter pilot in World War II.  This article details more about his military career. 

One of many news tributes to Barker. 

Finally, I had to include this famous scene from the movie Happy Gilmore where Adam Sadler (playing Happy Gilmore) and Bob Barker play together in a charity golf tournament that doesn't end well for one of them.  How could I not? 

I will end this short tribute to Bob Barker with his famous ending to each episode of The Price is Right.

Rest in peace, Bob Barker.  You made the world a better place.


Friday, August 25, 2023

Drama vs Blue #SkywatchFriday

The sky has been showing off its various moods this past week.

August 17 drama.

August 17 blue and white cloud mixture.

August 18 at a car show - van painting and dreary sky.

August 21 cloud wisps on a day when the sky was bright blue.

Finally, I couldn't resist the shades of green on the trees combined with the blue sky.

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers from all over the world for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Japanese Pagoda Library Tree #ThursdayTreeLove #4CLSRoadTrip

Time for another road trip, this time to a library I've used hundreds of times over the past 35 plus years.

On the grounds of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library in Endicott, New York stands a Japanese Pagoda Tree.  These trees bloom in late August, unlike most trees in our area, which bloom in the spring.

The tree.

This may help give you a little scale.

Close ups of the flowers. These were taken August 18.

Entrance to the George F. Johnson Memorial Library.

Inside, a clock.  It keeps time nicely.
I believe this is the house that used to sit on this property, owned by George F. Johnson

Here's a little history:  this library has existed since March of 1915, known originally as the Endicott Free Library.  It was located several blocks from the current library.  It moved several times before finding its permanent home in the current building in 1967.

The Endicott Free Library (later renamed the Ideal Home Library) operated one of the first bookmobiles (horse drawn) in the Northeast United States starting in 1916. It was a Ford flatbed truck used by someone else during the day.  It became a bookmobile in the early evening using removable book shelves. If your community has a bookmobile today, it may well have been inspired by the Endicott bookmobile.

Eventually, the library was named for industrialist George F. Johnson, who died in 1948 but is still beloved in this area for his philanthropy. If you are old enough, you may remember Endicott-Johnson or Father and Son shoes.  Here is a short history of the library and the population of immigrants and others it served.

After Mr. Johnson died, his homestead was purchased by the Village of Endicott.  The current library sits on its grounds. 

Mosaic, George F. Johnson Memorial Library

Also joining Parul of Happiness and Food for her #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Restored #WordlessWednesday

Our local Wegmans (a supermarket chain based in New York State) was the site of a car show once a month this summer.  

At the last show, this car caught my eye.

The Before picture was posted under the hood.  If you follow the arrow you will see a rusted out car.

The After car.

Do you think the restorers did a good job?

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Prehistoric Snake and Ninevah Library #4CLSroadtrip

Today, I'm tired after a Monday of Four County Library Roadtripping, so I am staying local for my post today.

Have you ever read the comic strips BC or The Wizard of ID?

For many years, the creator of these comic strips, Johnny Hart, lived in the small town of Ninevah, New York. His art is celebrated all through the New York State county I live in.

Johnny Hart, or so I was told several years ago by someone I met who worked at a cetain company, worked at the then General Electric plant just outside of Johnson City, New York in their art department.  But he really wanted to start a cartoon.  He did, and became famous.

So, when my spouse and I visited Ninevah, New York as part of the Four County Library Road Trip earlier this summer, it was no surprise to see this.


Artwork by the late Johnny Hart - one of his characters in his BC comic's prehistoric world - I think this bookworm is simply called The Snake. It's not unusual to see art created by Johnny Hart in our area, for example in the logo used by our public transportation.

Welcome to the Ninevah, New York library.

This library is proud of its local history, even having a collection of books devoted to history and some of our distinguished citizens.  If you see a Twilight Zone book up above, you are right - Rod Serling grew up in nearby Binghamton, New York. 

This library dates from 1901, and this is a painting of its original building.  The library moved to its present home in 1972.

The current library is the smallest library in the county I live in, but it is big in hart...I mean, heart.

Small does not mean "boring'.  The librarian gave us a tour and something immediately caught my flower loving eye.

This library has a garden.  Due to lack of volunteer labor, it needs some love, but it was still nice to look at. 

Like so many other rural libraries in our area, this library depends greatly on local businesses to help fund the many programs it offers to its community.  The libraries, in turn, attempt to support local businesses.  The librarian here told us about a local grocery a couple of doors down that made the most wonderful desserts.  There wasn't even a sign on the front, but we went in and bought a delicious (and large) slice of chocolate peanut butter cake.  It was wonderful.

This has been a fascinating road trip, full of surprises and history.  

Join me again in a few days when I blog about another library in our four county area.

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Dog (and Other Animals) Days of Summer #MusicMovesMe

 It's Monday.  It's time for music!  But first, let's introduce the Music Moves Me bloggers.

We are 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!)   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 yours truly.

You are welcome to join our Monday music group.  It's so easy. All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video.  No music video? Your post may be removed, or may be labeled *NO MUSIC*.We alternate theme weeks and no theme weeks.

Today's theme is from Robin at Songbird's Crazy World: "Since we are in the dog days of summer, let's put together songs about animals."

For the most part, I am going to choose songs with animals mentioned in the title.  The lyrics won't necessarily mention animals.  I will include birds and water creatures (and even an animal that may not exist) in my definition of animals.

I remember this song from my childhood, but it's a lot older than that.  Here's a recording of William Costello and his alter ego voice Pop Eye singing "Let's All Sing Like The Birdies Sings" from 1937.

Patti Page sings How Much is that Doggie in the Window? Recorded in 1952, it was released in 1953.  It's a song from my early childhood.  I loved it as a child

Let's see...what else?

Surfin' Bird - The Bird is the Word from The Trashmen.  This song will turn 60 in November of this year and the bird still is the word. 

I discovered this song was a sort of cover (more like a mash-up) of two songs by a doo-wop group called the Rivingtons: Papa Oom Maw Maw and The Bird is the Word. Eventually, the Trashmen had to share writing credits with the Rivingtons after a threat of lawsuit.

I included The Bird is the Word by the Rivington's in a 2021 post on my blog.

From 1978, Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London.  OK, werewolves don't exist - or do they?  I just love the lyrics.

 Black Dog - Led Zeppelin, one of my spouse's favorite groups.

Finally, a long one:  Bat Out of Hell, by Meat Loaf.

And it's a wrap!

Join me again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Fruit Shadows #ShadowshotSunday

At the farmers market yesterday, I noticed these red seedless watermelons.  They were bathed in shadows cast by the crates they were in. Look at the middle two melons.

Next to them were some cantaloupe.  

I found the shadows on the bottom two cantaloupes interesting, too.

Joining Magical Mystery Teacher for ShadowshotSunday

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Late Summer Abundance

It's a beautiful Saturday here in the Southern Tier of New York.  While many others bake or deal with wildflowers, we are enjoying a summer day and the abundance of product that shows up at our local farmers market.  It feels a little weird, with what is going on in so many other places.

This is the peak of sweet corn season.  Spouse and I eat it nearly every day.

Blueberries are finishing up.  

 Freestone peaches.   We can not grow peaches where we live, so these are all imported, probably from Pennsylvania.  I may be too fussy but my time living in Kansas and Arkansas and being able to pick my own peaches spoiled me.  I rarely eat store bought peaches, even from farmers markets.


Kirbys are my favorite cucumber and it's strange that we don't grow them. (We opt for small space cucumbers).  Cucumber varieties do matter. Kirbys are a small pickling cucumber.  We make simple sour refrigerator pickles with them and I have a slice each day if I make a sandwich for lunch. 

 "Little" eggplant.  In my opinion these were picked too late-I don't think they should have been as big as many of these were.  My spouse bought one of the smaller ones, hoping that these (long Asian eggplants) won't be as seedy as some of the classic Italian black eggplants we are used to. 

Our garden is producing an abundance of tomatoes and basil right now. My spouse makes eggplant parmigiana with minimal oil and no breading.  I happen to like it that way but I have a feeling he will make something different tonight.

It's such a delicious time of the year and we are fortunate to be able to enjoy it.

I hope all is well with you, my readers.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Erie Canal Cruise Skies #SkywatchFriday

Wednesday, my spouse and I traveled to Camillus, New York (a suburb of Syracuse) to take an Erie Canal cruise on a restored portion of the historic Erie Canal at Liz and Dave Beebe Erie Canal Park.

The cruise took almost 45 minutes and I wouldn't be surprised if the tour guide (a real human, not a recording like some cruises) was a retired history teacher.  He was so good.  We learned a lot.

Shall we board?

This is not part of the modern Erie Canal that crosses New York State that is still navigable (and is a gem of the New York Empire Trail system) and runs from Waterford (near Albany) west to Tonawanda, just north of Buffalo, on the Niagara River.  

The Erie Canal started out as a hand dug ditch and was expanded several times.  This stretch is part of the first expansion and contains a historic aqueduct that was restored painstakingly by volunteer labor using and repairing stones used in the original construction. There are only seven miles of historic canal in the park, and not all of it can even be navigated by this boat.

 A feeder into the canal.  It started to rain as I took this picture.

Taken from land.

Taken from the boat, a barn.
Another view (with a couple of heads - our boat was almost full)

The restored aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek, taken from the boat.

Returning to dock.

Thank you for joining me on this cruise

Joining Yogi and other bloggers for #SkywatchFriday.