Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Obit of Oz #WordlessWednesday

A friend sent me an obituary yesterday.  It was for a local woman, and I just had to share it.  Here's the link.

Many topics are discussed in Wordless Wednesday, but I somehow doubt that there have been too many posts with obituaries in them.  Certainly few written for a Wizard of Oz fan.

That may be because the rules of Wordless Wednesday call for a photo.  I was hoping I could take a picture of the obit in the newspaper but apparently our paper doesn't put obituaries in the Monday or Tuesday papers.

So instead, I want to share a photo with you of the historic old Erie Canal near Fayetteville, New York.

In nearby (to Fayetteville) Chittenango, New York, L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz books, was born. Chittenango celebrates all things Oz each year with an Oz-Stravaganza (formerly known as Oz-Fest).  I've never gone.  I should. 

Oz-Stravagana, this coming year, will feature the great granddaughter of L. Frank Baum, the daughter of Bert Lahr (who played the Cowardly Lion in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz) and several other people.  Why not check it out?

The first (and most famous) of the Oz books was not written in New York State.  It was written in Chicago, Illinois.  But no matter. 

As for my photo, it has nothing to do with the obituary.  Just enjoy the scenery near to where L. Frank Baum was born.

But back to the obit.  I really hope that obit goes viral.


Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

January Temperature Afghan Progress Report

I promised you periodic updates on my temperature afghan for 2023 (yes, 2023) to keep me working on it.  As promised, here is my end of January update.   Well, it's my almost end of January update.

First, a refresher on what a temperature afghan is.  You don't have to crochet it, and you don't even have to make a blanket.

A temperature blanket uses colors to record highs and low temperatures (more on that later) over a certain period of time.  They can be used to record temperatures for a year, perhaps a calendar year, or the first year of a baby's life (to be presented as a birthday gift).   Some knit these, some quilt these.  Some make scarfs or sweaters.  The variations are endless.

So, in other words, Nature determines the colors and patterns of your work.

As a reminder, here are the colors I am using to represent the high for each day.

0 F (-17.8 C) and lower:  Pale Plum.  It would be most unusual where I live to have a high less than zero F, and, in fact, 2023 did not offer such a high.  But we did have a low of -5F (-20.5 C) one night so I decided to include a strip of low temperature color and high temperature color for that day.
In addition:
1-21F   Dark orchid
21-32F  Royal blue
33-43F  Turquoise
44-53F  Spring Green
54-66F  Kelly Green (think of St. Patrick's Day)
67-77F  Bright Yellow
78-88F Carrot orange
89-99F  Pretty in Pink
100F (38C) and above - Fruity Stripe (shades of pink - a variegated yarn) I didn't have to use it.  Thankfully.

As of of December 31, 2023, I had gotten up to April 6, 2023.

Here is my afghan, as of yesterday afternoon (complete with shadows).

I am working on May 3 now, and you can see that big stretch of Kelly Green (54-66 F) at the top.  I have several more rows of that green. 

The cold weather certainly helps-I rarely crochet in the hot weather.

I'll be back towards the end of February (hopefully) to report on my (hopefully) continued progress. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

Songs of Events and People #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday, and it's time for Music Moves Me.

First, let's introduce the Music Moves me bloggers:  We 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 removed, or 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.

Today, our theme is "Songs based on fictional/non fictional people, or historic events".  Turns out, there are hundreds of these songs to choose from.

My first pick is a tribute to singer Melanie Safka, better known as Melanie, who was inducted into Rock and Roll Heaven on January 23, 2024 at the age of 76. She was one of only three solo singers to perform at the famed 1969 music festival Woodstock.

This hit, Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) was based on the events of the Woodstock Festival. It was her breakthrough hit in the United States, reaching #6 on the Billboard charts in 1970.

Next is a song co-written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy, and sung by Bob Dylan.  It's a long one but I think you'll like it.  This is based on a real life boxer, Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, imprisoned for a murder he did not commit.

The song itself was controversial and had to be re-recorded twice because some lyrics had to be changed.

"Hurricane" Carter was released from prison in 1985, after almost 20 years in prison and ten years after the song was originally recorded.  Carter died in 2014.

There are many songs written about the Vietnam War.  I'm choosing only one, by one of my favorite duos, Simon and Garfunkel.  "7 o'clock News/Silent Night", from 1966, is (I think) so simple, and yet so wrenching.

This is one of many songs connected with World War II - The Andrews Sisters and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy may be one of the best known.  This song, from 1941, comes from the Abbott and Costello movie Buck Privates.

Finally, a song about a dethroned king - we don't know who he was, but historical or fictional, he once ruled the world.  Many believe the song's king is based on King Louis XVI, deposed by the French Revolution and executed on January 21, 1793.  Here is Coldplay with Viva la Vida from 2008.

And that's a historical wrap!

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

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Snow Shadows and Puddles #ShadowshotSunday

 Shadows seen earlier this week.

Two moods of our unusual weather.  First, a puddle and clouds, with tree shadows.

Shadows on snow.

What a strange winter it has been.

Joining Lisa from Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Especially Now We Must Not Forget

 245,000.  Remember that number.

This is one of the days I pause my normally happy programming.  It will be back tomorrow.

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in modern day Poland.

Yes, what we call The Holocaust happened.  We still have living survivors - some 245,000.  95% of them were children.  It will not be that long, sadly, before most all of them are gone.

We are already forgetting.   What happens when they are all gone and we have no living witnesses?

We must not hide history, even if it's painful.  We deny it at our peril.  The type of hate that led to the Holocaust is on the rise.  People are angry and frustrated. They are frightened for the future  They want someone in power that can fix it.  Someone with a lot of power.

That usually doesn't end well.

I've blogged about this before, and part of this post is taken from a post I wrote in January, 2023.

I read about the Holocaust as a young girl.  I knew Holocaust survivors - they were the parents of some of my friends.  It wasn't spoken about, but I breathed it in with each breath.  And those books, geared to young children? Some were published by Scholastic.  They included pictures, too.  Yes, perhaps not the worst pictures, but these children's books were never hidden from me.

It didn't wreck me.  Rather, my parents hoped that I would be in an adult where hatred of Jews and other minorities in this country would disappear.

That world has never existed, and it's getting worse.  It's acceptable once again to show hate.  Incidents of hate continue to rise both here and in other countries.  It isn't just the Holocaust.
I am horrified at the efforts to silence the teaching of certain parts of our history here in the United States, because, if anything needs to be taught in our schools (besides reading, writing, arithmetic and life skills one will need as an adult) to every child, it is history - including the history of how and when evil seemed to triumph for a time, and why.  It happened in Europe in the 1930's and 40's.  It happened here in the United States from time to time.  
These are universal themes, this hating of "the other".
Just to be clear, "that other" may be your co workers, your friends, members of where you worship, your family (and maybe you don't even know all about your family), the people who grow and harvest your food, your medical professionals, your childrens' friends, the military people and first responders who protect you.

We must teach our children well, even as we adults confront this rise in hate.

"Never Again"begins with "Never Forget".  I think those 245,000 survivors of an actual event would agree with this.
"Never Forget" begins with good education.


Friday, January 26, 2024

Mid January Blue Skies #SkywatchFriday

 On January 12, it was so nice to see the blue of the sky, at least for a while.

So, so nice.
I believe these are called mackerel skies.

Interesting ring around the sky.

Oh well.  Goodbye blue.  Back to winter.   I should thank Nature, however, for the sneak peak at better skies ahead one day.  Winter here in the Southern Tier of New York is normally so grey, you'd think my photos were taken in black and white.

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Bones of Winter #ThursdayTreeLove

“I prefer winter and fall when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.”- Andrew Wyeth.

We've had all kinds of weather this past week - snow, ice, rain.  It's been a good week to stay inside - fortunately, I haven't had to go out much.

Snowy backyard. 

Dark eyed juncos, a bird that lives further north but winters here, flocked to our snow laden feeders.  The males are black on top and white on the bottom while the females are more grey on top and white on the bottom. They seem to be more common when there is snow on the ground.  

We did see sun at the beginning of the week.  I admired another Norwegian maple.  Doesn't this tree look battle scarred, with all its missing limbs?  Yet, it perseveres. 

The bones of winter.

Now, it's staying above freezing, and that means more rain but I am not complaining.

A day without ice or snow coming down is a good day.

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food for her twice a month #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Rabbit Caught on Camera #WordlessWednesday

January 9,  I was looking out the window and saw this rabbit.

Rabbit in lower right
Harder to see in this second picture, perhaps.

These were taken in color, but the color isn't showing up well.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Another Induction into Rock and Roll Heaven

For her, fame was not a paradise.  But I didn't know that as a child.

Mary Weiss, the lead singer of the girl group the Shangri-La's, died January 19 at the age of 75. The announced cause of death was COPD.  At the time of her death, she was working on a stage musical based on the Shangri-Las.

Growing up in the 50's and 60's in New York City, I fell in love with the Shangri-Las as soon as I heard their first hit song.  Their music spoke to the pre-teen me.

Remember (Walking in the Sand), from 1964.

Mary Weiss was only 15, just a handful of years older than me.  And she was born in Queens, the same as me.

The Shangri-Las were a group of four:  Mary and her sister Betty Weiss, and Marge and Mary Ann Ganser, who were identical twins.  They had met in elementary school and had already entered various talent contests.  They weren't ready for the fame that song earned them.

I loved Mary's street tough voice.  I loved the sound of the group's records, and the way they grabbed your emotions.  Take, for example, I Can Never Go Home Anymore. 

Mary Weiss said she was born into music, but music was not to be her life.

The group disbanded in 1968.  By then, the group was facing some kind of litigation, I read.  Mary Weiss left music, disillusioned.  She went to work in the accounting department of an architectural firm.

In 2007, she returned to music.  Here's one of her songs from that era, "Stop and Think It Over".

RIP, Mary Weiss.  Your music will not be forgotten.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Don't Hold Back the Music #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and it's time for music.

It's time for Music Moves Me.

Let's introduce the Music Moves me bloggers:  We 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 removed, or 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.

Today, our theme is "You Pick Your Own Theme".

How about some random music I haven't heard in a while?  And one song I have heard recently?

1982's A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran.

Also from 1982: Duran Duran - Hold Back the Rain.

One more from 1982, a great music year, with The Fixx - Red Skies.

Simple Minds - All The Things She Said, from 1985.  This song is intensely personal to me, as you will see if you read this 2016 post.

Finally, a recent song I heard again just the other day.

Shinedown - Daylight, from 2022.

Tomorrow, I plan a tribute to Mary Weiss, lead singer of the Shangri-Las, who died January 19 at the age of 75.  I welcome you to join me again tomorrow for more music.

And that's a wrap.

Join us again next week for more music.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Shadows at Home #ShadowshotSunday

Some shadows seen at home.

A palm plant unfurling leaves.


Rosemary shadows, on a cool, not cold day (January 11) when we could safely put the plants out.  (We can not overwinter rosemary outdoors where we live)

Joining Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Do Better Idaho

Strange that I need to give publicity to an advertisement I detest.  I've seen this on our local TV several times this week.

In this commercial a family freaks out because they are being served homegrown (from the backyard garden) potatoes rather than Idaho potatoes.  Even the dog shames this woman.

Sorry, Idaho.  We've grown our own potatoes for years in our community garden (not in Idaho), and when we run out, we buy more at the farmers market from a local farmer. This past year, we even grew some potatoes in our small front yard in a bag.

Shame on that woman for not buying from a state possibly hundreds of miles away and instead, serving her family fresh and homegrown produce lovingly tended by her.

Dear Idaho, no offense, but we will continue to grow our own, or purchase from local farmers.  It's the right thing to do.

You can do better than shame family gardeners and local growers, Idaho!

Do better. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

Sunset with the Geese #SkywatchFriday

January 15.  After work, spouse and I went down to the park.  It looked like we had a chance at a sunset after day after day of dreary weather.

It was cold and my hands weren't happy when I took my gloves off, but the sunset showed promise.

We walked along the river as the sun set.

Not sure if you can see them, but I paused to take pictures of icicles on the bottom of the photo.

Back to the sunset.

Good night, sun.
We watched silently with the geese.
I adjusted the exposure so the geese were more visible.


Joining Yogi and other skywatchers for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

New York Tea

These tea bags (and a CBS Saturday Morning segment) led me down an interesting rabbit hole the other day.

 Did you know that a well regarded tea company is headquartered right in New York State?  You might guess, "oh, it's in New York City."  It's not.  It's located in a small village of about 1000 people in rural New York near its border with Connecticut.  It's called Harney & Sons and its teas are delicious.  

I don't know if this link will play outside the United States, but it is interesting to watch.  It will take about seven minutes out of your day, and introduce you to the family that founded this tea company.  The original founder is deceased but his 92 year old widow is still involved in the business.

You would think this company was British from the name, but it's not.

But this American tea is sold in Great Britain in some Royal palace gift shops.

Right now, tea is only grown commercially, I understand, in one state, and I have been to that place in South Carolina.  

But there is another company attempting it in New York State near the Finger Lakes.  I was there several years ago.  I wonder how they are doing.

In the meantime, tea drinkers in New York State can rejoice.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Bean and Pasta Soup #WordlessWednesday

Many of us here in the United States are feeling the full wrath of winter.  Some aren't even used to that kind of weather.

I can't make it stop but I can suggest something to help take the edge off, if your power is on.

SOUP.  Because, as an ad used to say, soup is good food. 

And anyone can make it.

One of my aunts had a dream:  One day, she would publish a soup cookbook.  She never accomplished it and has been gone for years now, but I remember what she told me. 

My spouse loves to make homemade soup.  This is one of his creations.  The great thing about this is that you can put in whatever is on hand.  And, it doesn't even have to be hot.  If it's summer for you, or if you are in a mild climate there is always cold soup.

Here's how spouse did this soup:  this is just a high level description but there are a lot of recipes online.

For the broth, spouse cooked a smoked ham hock in water, but you can use a broth from a retort. You can use vegetable stock if you are a vegetarian, and skip the meat altogether and just use beans.  He cooked dry beans but you can use canned.  There is no soup police monitoring your cooking.

Spouse then cooked beans and pasta separately.  He took the meat off the ham bone. He added kale from our front yard (fresh picked - it's all gone now), along with sliced carrots, sliced celery and whole wheat pasta.  I could see frozen or canned corn in this soup, or even frozen or canned carrots or frozen spinach or kale (just adjust cooking time).

Easy, right?  Serve hot - it's winter, after all.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Sharing Obituaries and Walking a Tightrope

Last week, a parent of someone I have known for years passed away after a brief hospitalization.  The cause of death:  a fall. 

So many times, it is a fall.  Or dementia.  And, in fact, the parent of someone else I know also died the other day.  She had suffered from dementia, although I don't know the exact cause of death.

It's a sad thing when we reach the age when some of the interactions with friends happen when it is time to share news of a death, or when we find ourselves at a viewing or a funeral.  I know, intellectually, it will happen more and more as I age, but it can still be a hard adjustment.

For me, it's especially sad when death is due to a fall, because my late mother in law had suffered so many.  And my spouse's aunt, who lived to 107, lost much of her independence when she fell and broke her hip at age 101.  My sister in law's mother died in 2015, months after suffering a severe head injury from a bathtub fall.

We all face that risk, if we haven't fallen already.  If it isn't us, it is a loved one who has fallen.  A mother. A father. An aunt or uncle.

In 2015, I quoted from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Website:

"What outcomes are linked to falls? (Citations for these statistics are available on the website)

  • Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • About one-half of fatal falls among older adults are due to TBI.
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls....
  • Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling."
So, what is the number one thing we can do, even in midlife, to help prevent falls when we are older?

Exercise.  (There's more to it than that, but exercise is a great start.)

Which is why, nearly every day, I now walk a tightrope.

Loss of balance sneaks up on you.  I know that too well because my spouse and I have both fallen.

In 2015, I took a series of anti-falling classes (which I blogged about back then). There is a wealth of information online, including information on the CDC website. 

The seniors in your life (or you, if you are a senior) hopefully have access to various programs in their community.  Here are some of ours.

I wish I didn't have to share these obituaries, especially for falling related deaths.

Our hope is that we can all age with grace.  I remember what that fall meant to my spouse's 101 year old aunt, and how it impacted her remaining years.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Hopes and Visions for the Future #MusicMovesMe #GardenBloggersBloomDay

This Monday, once again, it's time for the Music Moves Me bloggers to assemble. It's also Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  My flower pictures will be at the end of this post because I didn't want to write two separate posts this morning.  I hope you stick around for both topics.

Let's introduce the Music Moves me bloggers:  We 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 removed, or 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.

Today, our theme is "build song picks around visions, dreams, and hopes for a better tomorrow.". It's an appropriate theme for today, when we honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 Here's U2 and "Pride (In the Name of Love)", from 1984.  This song, I think, is timeless.

We can all hope for a better future.  Here's Journey and their 1981 hit "Don't Stop Believing".

Paul McCartney and "Hope for the Future", from 2014.

Bon Jovi and "Next 100 Years".

1999's "Next Year" from the Foo Fighters.

Sometimes, though, the future may be something different.  Here's Styx's "Mr. Roboto" from 1983.

Let's end with a more optimistic song,  1973's "Dream On" from Aerosmith.

And now, Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, brought to us each 15th of the month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

In the heart of January, my zone 6a (yes, we've been promoted to zone 6a) garden in the Southern Tier of New York is resting for the winter, with one exception.

Our early blooming white Lenten Rose has several buds struggling to open.

Maybe they are hoping for a better future, too, but we are starting the coldest weather of the season so we'll have to see.

And that's a flowery wrap!

Join me again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me, and join me again February 15 for whatever is blooming for me.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Sunshine in January Shadows #ShadowshotSunday

Friday, the sun came out for several hours and we, believe it or not, had blue skies.  This isn't common in January (unless it is bitterly cold, which it wasn't).

I took this opportunity to get a couple of shadow pictures in our local park.  Here's a shadow cast by a tree.  If you are seeing mud on the walking path, that is leftover river mud from a recent flood (not too bad).

Shadow cast by a utility tower.

Now we are back in the grip of winter.

Joining with Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.  If you have a shadow (or two) to share, we welcome you - just use the linky on Lisa's site.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Snowstorm

A post from 2015, with some edits.

How would a young boy react to a record breaking snow in a city where it doesn't snow all that much in a typical winter? (It would seem, in a typical year, Atlanta gets a total of three inches (7.62 cm) of snow).

In 2015, our Weather Channel gave us a fascinating glimpse into the world of a young boy who grew up to be an important part of the history of the United States.

Monday will be a federal holiday in the United States - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I do not know how many of my readers living outside the United States have heard of the late Dr. King (assassinated in 1968) but he is one of only three people in United States history to have Federal holidays in their honor. (King's actual birthday was Tuesday January 15 - like so many other Federal holidays, this holiday always falls on a Monday.)

Dr. King was a Baptist minister.  A leader of the Civil Rights movement.  A social activist.  A man who had a dream.  That dream changed the lives of millions of people.

But once upon a time, Dr. King was a young boy.  Born in 1929, he was 10 years old when he wrote a short letter to his father about playing in snow.  Dr. King's childhood was spent in Atlanta, Georgia, where it does snow, but not that often.

The young Dr. King had a great time making snowmen and throwing snowballs, and cleaning off a sidewalk.  He mentioned how hard a job the sidewalk cleaning was.

It turns out the snowfall he shoveled was a record snowfall for Atlanta - 8.3 inches (21 cm).

But young Dr. King had a fun time with the record snow he was fortunate enough to experience.

Just reading this short letter makes me want to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. the boy and the man.  Not the legend, but the man who once enjoyed a snow day.

A fantastic thought:  greatness lies inside all of us.  Greatness comes when you let it out.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Bright Up the Sky #SkywatchFriday

Still more pictures from a beautiful November 9, 2023 sunset.

Reflection on the water.

Such a distant memory now, sunset color.

We continued our walk, taking pictures every few seconds.

Now the skies are just gray and the snow flurries fly.  But we have our memories of November.

Next week is supposed to be the coldest of the season.  Brrr.

Joining Yogi and other sky watchers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.


Thursday, January 11, 2024

Snow At Last #ThursdayTreeLove

"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination" - Terri Guillemets. 

I know readers of Parul's #ThursdayTreeLove have been waiting for photos of trees covered in snow since a number of participants live in climes where snow is not part of their winters.

Sunday and Monday, we finally got enough of a snowstorm to make it happen.

Doesn't it look like a winter wonderland?  These pictures were taken Monday.
These pictures look like they were taken in black and white.  I assure you, they were not.
A birds-eye view of a backyard.
Here's a closeup of the snow.  It was heavy and clumpy.  I'm grateful I didn't have to shovel it.

Trees share their beauty with us all year long.  Where I live, many trees bloom in the spring.  In summer, they provide shade and cover for birds and animals.  In fall, many of our trees sense the decreasing daylight, their signal to go into winter hibernation. Before their leaves fall, the leaves shed their green and show their true colors - yellow, rust, red.  The leaves, once on the ground, compost and enrich the soil.  The mulch they create also protects the roots of perennial plants.

In winter, they provide places for birds and squirrels to store food.  Squirrels build nests in trees as year round homes.

These trees may seem to be fast asleep but, in reality, amazing things are happening beneath the surface to allow those trees to survive winter.

Nature is amazing.

Meanwhile, as of today, the snow is almost all gone. Our up and down winter continues.

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food this second Thursday of January for #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Belt Maker #WordlessWednesday

In 2013, we visited Arkansas (where we had lived for several years in the early 1980's) and went to a Labor Day event called the Clothesline Fair at Prairie Grove State Park.  Prairie Grove State Park is on the grounds of a Civil War battlefield.

Many handmade crafts are sold there.   I bought a couple back in the 1980's, and still have them.

At the Clothesline Fair was a man who made belts the old fashioned way, and sold them.

He would fit them for you. Here's a picture I took of the craftsman (with permission) at work. My spouse bought one of his belts and it lasted for many years.

 I wonder if he is still alive.

This year, the Fair will be held August 31 and September 1 and 2nd. 


Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Is There a Fountain of Youth Out There?

(I apologize to my readers outside the United States - these people and shows may not be familiar to you but these individuals were all part of my childhood so I hope you will bear with me.)

There's a fundraising commercial for a famous children's hospital that was co-founded by actor Danny Thomas.  His daughter Marlo Thomas (who is married to Phil Donahue) acts as their National Outreach director, and appears in this particular commercial.

I remember Marlo Thomas in a series called That Girl.  She was 28 when she started that series in 1966.  I was a teenager at the time.  I still see her as 28.

A little quick math and Internet research indicates that Marlo Thomas is 86.

Her husband Phil Donahue, whose talk show I also remember, is 88.

Remember the TV show I Dream of Jeannie?  Barbara Eden is 92.  She was 31 when I Dream of Jeannie first aired in 1965.

Other actors of my youth:

Joyce Randolph (the Honeymooners) is 99. Dick Van Dyke turned 98 last month.   Julie Andrews of The Sound of Music Fame is 88.  June Lockhart (I absolutely loved Lassie) is 98.  And let's not remember William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek - he will be turning 93 in March.  Not that he's slowed down any.  He even went into space (for real, not via Hollywood) when he was 90.

For my European readers, I must mention Branka Veselinović, who, sadly passed away last year at the age of 104.

I wonder why this longevity?  And apparently, I'm not the only person who has wondered.  I found this one study but there are others.

But maybe not necessarily?  Here's another look done by obituary site Legacy, although it studied statistics from the pandemic year of 2020.  They concluded that the best field to enter if you want to live to an advanced age is - politics.

Politics?  I am not even going to go there.  As for my occupation (not politics!), I wouldn't know if there is even a mortality study of it.

So, is there a fountain of youth out there?  We all want to age with grace.  But is it possible for many of us?  

I wish I could know what their secret is.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Only Police in the Building #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and it's time to groove with the Music Moves Me bloggers.

Let's introduce the Music Moves me bloggers:  We 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 removed, or 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.

Sometimes we have themes (not mandatory!) and sometimes we can choose whatever music we want to feature - as long as you have at least music video posted, it's all good. 

Today, our theme is "You Pick the Music".

Now that the streaming show "Only Murders in the Building" is being shown on network TV, I have been finally able to watch it.  One episode I watched this past week (season 1) had the musician Sting, formerly of the band The Police.  In reading up on the show, Sting appears in several episodes of the first season playing himself.  He's a suspect in - what else?-a murder in the building.

So I decided to start this with the 1980 Police hit "Don't Stand So Close to Me".

I'm also going to discuss singer Selena Gomez, who stars in the show with Steve Martin and Martin Short, a little later.

In the meantime, how about some other songs related to Police?

Cheap Trick is one band I've had the honor of seeing live.  Here is a live performance of their song "Dream Police".

I had thought Eddie Money had been a New York City policeman before he quit for his musical career.  At the time of his death at age 70, the New York City Police Department clarified that, although Money had been a police trainee, he had never been appointed to the force as an officer.  His father, a brother, and grandfather were policemen, though.  Here's his duet with Ronnie Spector in "Take Me Home Tonight". (The song ends around four minutes into the video - the rest is interviews).

Singer Bobby Sherman became a reserve officer and medical training officer for several years with the Los Angeles, California police department.  Here is his hit from 1970, Easy Come Easy Go.

Country singer Jeff Carson left a country music career to become a police officer in Franklin, Tennessee. He returned to music in 2019, but his life was cut short at age 58 by a heart attack in 2022.  Here is one of his hits "The Car".

Finally, Selena Gomez is one of the co-stars in the Only Murders in the Building series and a talented actor, musician, and dancer.  She has also been struggling with an autoimmune disease, lupus, for some 10 years now.  Despite these struggles, Gomez has done a lot of collaboration with other singers.  I chose her 2019 hit "Lose You to Love Me".  Maybe not a real life police officer, but Gomez plays an artist and real life crime solver in the series.

And that's a TV inspired wrap!

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

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Door Shadows #ShadowshotSunday

 Shadow on a closet door December 14.

A shadow on our back door on a rare appearance of the sun during golden hour on January 5.

Important note:  The linky for Shadowshot Sunday has moved, due to the retirement of the previous hoster Magical Mystical Teacher.  This meme is now hosted by Lisa's Garden Adventure in Oregon blog and today's linky can be found here.  Thank you, Lisa, for taking this over.

The rules remain the same:

1 - Post a shadow photo (or two!) 

2 - click the Mister Linky on Lisa's blog and add the link to your post 

3 - Link back to the post on Lisa's blog to show your readers you've joined up

It's as simple as that!

I hope you will join us.


Saturday, January 6, 2024

CommuniTEA Time

In talking to the friendly librarians last month at Your Home Library in Johnson City library, one of them told me they would be setting up a community tea "lending library" during the early part of January.  This used card catalog uses their seed lending catalog, so the tea library will only be operating until the seeds come in sometime in February.

It started to operate a few days ago and is called the CommuniTEA library. 

Unlike the other tea library in our area, this tea isn't obtained from contributions from library patrons.  These were purchased from a New York State tea company called Harney & Sons Fine Teas, located in the Hudson Valley in Millerton New York.

There's a limit of two bags per patron.  These are the two I chose.

It's certainly an interesting concept.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Continuing a November Sunset #SkywatchFriday

It appears that winter has finally reached where I live in the Southern Tier of New York State.  There's a storm brewing, and we are expecting the snow to start around 1pm on Saturday.  Right now the forecast is five to eight inches (12.7cm-20.3 cm) but I remember some storms where that was the forecast and we got a lot more.

I'd rather think back to November 9 and a beautiful sunset I started to blog about last year.

I promised the best was yet to come.
It's not a tease.

More to come.

It's been such a snowless winter that we aren't even used to seeing this anymore. 

 Joining Yogi and other bloggers who watch the sky at #SkywatchFriday.