Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Day Birthday?

Leap years. The day that only comes once every four years.  Let's start this post, then, with something totally unrelated.

I know someone who was born on July 4.  

Here in the United States, July 4th is our Independence Day.  It's celebrated with fireworks, outdoor BBQ's, and parades (not necessarily in that order).  In my youth, most people had the day off.  It's a national holiday.

I asked this person once, how old were you when you first realized all the celebrations weren't to celebrate your birthday?  She just chuckled.  Maybe she's been asked that a lot.

It makes me think, every February 29, about all those born on February 29.  Technically, they only have a birthday to celebrate once every four years.  It's kind of the opposite of the Fourth of July.  No fireworks.  No bonfires.  No parades.

They only get to celebrate their true birthdays once every four years.

So, what about these people?

Some talented people were born on February 29.

So what happens if you are born on February 29?

Congratulations!  You have the rarest birthday a person can have.  There's only a one in 1,461 chance a baby will be born on February 29. The link in the last sentence also explains why a leap day every four years in our Gregorian calendar.

Most people born on that date celebrate (except in leap years) either on February 28 or March 1.  

February 29 remains your legal birthdate for official IDs.

But you don't age 1/4 as fast as the rest of us.

And you have restaurants and other businesses celebrating with specials - like these.

So, if today is your birthday, celebrate it in style.  You are special!  (although maybe not as special as someone born on July 4th....only kidding!)

And if any of my readers happen to have a birthday today - happy birthday!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Is Pluto a Planet? #WordlessWednesday

Last year, a Planet Walk was installed on our local Rail Trail.  They managed to fit in all the planets over its span of 3.8 miles (6.12 km), including one that has an interesting back story.

Yes, Pluto.  The planet that suddenly wasn't a planet.  Except, maybe for Rail Trail purposes.

Pluto was discovered in 1930 and was named by an 11 year old girl.  All through my childhood, I was taught that Pluto was the furthest away of the planets and the last discovered.

But times have changed.  Pluto was demoted to "dwarf planet" in 2006.  People were upset.  Really, many people were upset.  But we've all had time to adjust now.  And maybe that's how Pluto ended up on the Planet Walk.

Yes, it's small.  But it has at least five moons. It just hasn't "cleared its orbit", whatever that means. I read that, except for that cleared its orbit thing, it meets all criteria for being a true planet.

Come on, how about it?  How about reinstating it to true planet?

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Annual Pondering

Last Tuesday, I blogged about Aging with Grace.  In that post, I blogged a little about blogging:

I've also thought about cutting way down on blogging. Several bloggers I know have either quit in the last year, or cut way back.  I hope it is for good reasons....

 I've blogged daily since May of 2011.  In a way, my blog has become an online journal. It's a fragile journal, one that could go "poof" at any time if Google decides to discontinue the platform.  But, for now, daily blogging serves my purposes.  It's a journal I can look at any time I have an internet connection.

There were some interesting comments from fellow bloggers.  I thank everyone who commented on that post.  Here are two of the comments, edited for length:

From reader Liz at Laws of Gravity:  "Lately I've begun to think of my grandfather with regards to blogging. He had a CB radio...My brother and I would sit with him when we were kids in the '80s. But looking back, CB radios would have had their heyday in the '70s. I think blogging is becoming that. It's still here, but people are falling away from it as newer social media has come in and shortened our attention spans (yet again)."

 And Yogi, who heads the Friday sky watching meme I participate in at his blog Skywatch Friday, commented:  "I posted daily on my blog for years. Now it is three or four times a week. You see it with everybody else with the decreased number of people participating in the various memes....And I think we have lost lots of bloggers. It seems to be an older person's passion. Some people just go dark and I don't know if they have passed away or just tired of it all."

They both make good points.

I wonder what I am going to find when it is time for an April blogging challenge I've participated in since 2015 to have its signup.  Signup is starting on March 10 for the 2024 Blogging from A to Z Challenge (A to Z for short).   

This challenge started in 2010 and continues every April for the entire month.  Bloggers who sign up (and some who don't) start April 1 with a post whose title and subject begins with "A". This year, "A" day will be Monday, April 1. Tuesday is for "B", and so on, except for Sunday. We follow this pattern all the way to Z on the last blogging day of April (a Tuesday).  So, 26 blogging days, 26 letters of the English alphabet. Some letters are easy.  Some are hard (think Q and X.)

But each year, it seems fewer people participate and I get less eager to join up. Last year, especially, a number of blogs never even started (and didn't explain) or quit midmonth without even a "Thank you, and goodbye".

Some statistics:

2010 (the first year) nearly 100 participants.

2011 - nearly 1300.

2012 - nearly 1700 

2023 - if my math is correct, 231.

 A to Z turned out to be good for me last year when I contracted COVID, had a few days of feeling crappy and tired, and even a day when I would have been hard pressed to remember my own name, never mind read any blog.  My blog posts, prewritten, posted on automatic pilot, so to speak.

Years ago, I was introduced to some great bloggers (like Liz of one of the above comments) and I think an A to Z Blogger led me to Skywatch Friday.  An A to Z blogger also invited me to join the Monday Music Moves Me I participate in.

A fellow Music Moves Me person also co-hosts A to Z, and I respect this person highly. Actually, I respect all the co-hosts:  this is a LOT of work.  I don't want to waste their time.

I agonize each year about signing up, I know.  And, truth to tell, I already have a theme in mind. I still have the ambition? Is it still right for me?  Have I done it too long?  Is the joy gone?

Will Blogging from A to Z be for me this year?  Or will I take a Leap (this is a leap year, after all) of faith and seek something different?

It's the hour of decision.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Pistachio Music #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday.  It's time for music!

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.

We have a guest host this month-Mary Burris from "Jingle Jangle Jungle". 

For today, we have a choice of themes: either (since it is National Pistachio Day) spelling Pistachio using the first letter of song titles or artists/bands or, since this is a leap year, choosing songs with Leap or Jump in the song titles. 

Let's give Pistachio a try, since I love these nuts so much.  I have ever since I was a small child.  So, in honor of that, I will also try to include some songs that mention food or have a food in the title, even if the song itself isn't about food.

For my first song, I've had this on my blog before, but I thought of this right away.  

Popcorn, from 1972 - a cover by Hot Butter.

Next, from 1983, a song from "Weird Al" Yankovic.

I Love Rocky Road. (Not sure Rocky Road is only an American thing, but it is a flavor of chocolate ice cream with nuts and marshmallow).

For S, a song from 1967.

Strawberry Fields Forever from the Beatles.

For T, I am going to choose an artist's name:  Taco, who is an Indonesian-Dutch singer, actor, and more.

Taco with his 1983 hit Puttin' On the Ritz, which was a cover of a 1930 song written by Irving Berlin.  Super duper!

For A, let's choose an instrumental.  This is a 1960 song by Bobby Scott, who also co wrote the song.  On this particular video, the song appears three times during the total of eight or so minutes of music written for the Broadway version of the British play from 1958.  Later, this was famously covered by Herb Albert (and sped up).

A Taste of Honey - Bobby Scott.

For C there were many choices but only one song I could pick.

Cheeseburger in Paradise from Jimmy Buffet.

The next song, from 1972, has a double meaning, and one of them isn't about food.  

Hot Potatoes from The Kinks. 

Now we need some wake up music. How about another song with a double meaning?

Ice Cream Man a cover of a John Brim song by Van Halen.

Last but not least, for O, a duo by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. For this 1969 song, I Omitted the "The" in the title but I really want to end this post and go eat some pistachios.

Onion Song.

And that's a wrap!

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

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Snow and Sun #ShadowshotSunday

 After a day in the deep freeze, we are going to be back above freezing.

Plants from my flower garden covered in snow, February 17.
Several days later, shadows on the Vestal Rail Trail.  Our snow is almost all melted.

Joining Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.  Why not come out of the shadows, if you have one or more shadowy pictures, and join us?

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Unseasonable Snowdrops?

Snowdrops, where I live in the Southern Tier of New York, are more a late March or early April bloom. 

But, more and more, our climate is shifting.

The plant zone people have noticed this too, with the recent changes in the zone maps.  Our area has been a zone 5b (minimum temperatures -10F to -15F or ) and now it is 6a (minimums -5Fto -10F or -20.6 to 23.3C).  The climate zones represent averages.  It's not a reason to run out if you live in New York State and buy a, say, palm tree. 

But back to this winter.  Our low so far has been 10F (-12.2C).

These pictures were taken February 22.  

These aren't my snowdrops, but are on a busy residential street in Binghamton, New York. 

No crocuses yet for us but a Facebook friend in New York City had crocuses blooming a couple of weeks ago.  And yes, he's in a different climate zone.

Climate zones are an interesting topic to gardeners.  This is an interesting discussion about someone being reclassified.

True, we've had early springs before.  There was 2012, when snowdrops and crocuses were blooming the first week of March.

True, we've had bloom before in February. 

But it isn't everything.

Still, when I first moved here in the 1980's, I never would have imagined snowdrops in February.

Friday, February 23, 2024

February Drama Skies #SkywatchFriday

During this past month, the up and down weather we've been experiencing here in the Southern Tier of New York has continued.

This made for some interesting skies.  The first three are from February 18.

Between the ground and the first level of clouds, you can see some ray like things, which my spouse told me was snow falling that wasn't reaching the ground.

We walked to where we could get a better picture and zoomed in a little.

We walked still further and passed some trees which were loaded (the small dots towards the top of the trees

These last two pictures were taken in the same park on February 9.

Two Canada geese flying, towards sunset, to their night time sleeping places. They are the dots in the center right.

Four more in flight.

And to all, a good night.

Joining Yogi and other skywatching bloggers for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Snowy Thoughts #ThursdayTreeLove

Snow has not been common this winter where I live in the Southern Tier of New York State.  I would estimate we've gotten less than half the snow we normally get.  I'm noting here that our record snowfall for a winter season was 135.2 inches (343 cm)  in the winter of 2016-2017. 

But I finally have some snow pictures for you.  And some thoughts.

A tree shadow in snow.

A close up.
Love that deep blue sky after a snow.

Evergreen bushes.

And now, the thoughts.

According to our local National Weather Service office, Lakes Erie and Ontario have less than 2% ice cover.  This is important, because we are prone to what are called lake effect snows, fed by moisture from those lakes. At this time of year, the lakes should still be frozen over and in those circumstances, we don't get those lake effect snows. 

This winter, I don't think those lakes ever froze over. I think the highest in mid-January they were about 13% frozen over.  They should have been 60-70% frozen over, if not more. 

No ice cover now means we may be getting set up for a major dump of snow in March, and possibly even April.


April snows, when they happen, are heavy.  Trees break and fall on cars and on houses.  Bad for the trees.  Bad for houses and cars and those who get in the way of the falling trees.  It's dangerous.

Also, there is a total eclipse of the sun on April 8, and the area of totality will cross New York State (it won't be total where I live, alas).  Thousands of tourists are expected in cities such as Buffalo and Rochester, both of which are in the zone of totality.  And both cities are near these lakes and both cities are known for their snowfall.

Buffalo's record snowfall in a winter, for example, is 199.4 inches (506 cm)

This may get interesting for those who love trees.

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food for her #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Miles of Smiles #WordlessWednesday

Here's a delightful piece of Americana.

I'm introducing you, dear reader, to a vehicle shaped like a hot dog which is driven around the United States.  Not only that, but people compete for the chance to be able to drive it around our country for a year.

Sure, why not?  It gives out (one of their slogans) Miles of Smiles.

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile visited our area at the end of January.  The vehicle (obviously, this isn't the original) have been entertaining adults and children since 1936.

Here it is in all its beauty.
Its back.
What it's looked like through the years.
This is as close as I could get to the driver's side.  Here's more views and a history if you are interested.  I wish they had been offering tours. I was like a little kid.

Fun facts about the Wienermobile.

And a short video.

Joining with Sandee at Comedy Plus and her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Aging with Grace

Some blog posts I read this past week touched me.

Childhood memories of the kitchen  Kitchen memories - we all have them, blogs Elizabeth Havey.  If we are fortunate, we have those memories of the kitchen where we grew up, and the kitchens we spent our adult life in.

May you never give up on what you enjoy says an Australian blogger.  She quotes Abraham Lincoln's quote ""In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years". I can only hope I can do the things I enjoy for the rest of my life, be they spending time outside in a garden, taking pictures, or reading for pleasure.

"So many things are left to memory", says Carol Cassara in a blog post about how nothing in permanent. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust it's the way of all things.  All creatures.  And all people".

So why am I blogging about this today?

Perhaps because I am realizing so much of my life now exists only in memory.  I walk in our local mall in bad weather, and the spaces are full of the ghosts of retail past.  Montgomery Ward.  Bradlees.  Kinney Shoes, which was my favorite shoe store. Sears is gone (they are down to 12 stores in the mainland U.S).  

Everywhere I go, I see memories in my mind.  The empty lot that used to be a McDonalds.  The elementary school my son went to which is now a senior citizen apartment building.  The building where I used to work years ago which now houses a non profit agency that provides services to older citizens like me.

One day, I will only be a memory, too.  And, one day, even that will be gone.

But, until that day, I intend to have a good time.  I have sunsets to enjoy.  Flowers to document.  Trips to take. Chocolate to eat.  True, I feel myself slowing down.

But don't say I'm too old for anything.  Behind that grey hair and wrinkles is an active mind full of curiosity.  

As the saying goes, there may be snow on the roof but that doesn't mean there isn't a fire in the furnace.

I've also thought about cutting way down on blogging. Several bloggers I know have either quit in the last year, or cut way back.  I hope it is for good reasons.

Speaking of blogging:

 I've blogged daily since May of 2011.  In a way, my blog has become an online journal. It's a fragile journal, one that could go "poof" at any time if Google decides to discontinue the platform.  But, for now, daily blogging serves my purposes.  It's a journal I can look at any time I have an internet connection.

Aging with grace.  It's what we can all hope for.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Mostly B Sides #MusicMovesMe

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

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.

We have a guest host this month-Mary Burris from "Jingle Jangle Jungle". 

For today, she has chosen the theme of "You Pick" so we get to post whatever music we want.

And my picks, as they sometimes are, may be a little eclectic.  My theme is "B" sides.  Back in the days when songs were released on 45 rpm singles (one song on one side, one song on the other side), the A side held the song that the label thought would be the hit, and the B side was usually something they didn't expect to do that well, or at least less well as the A side.

Sometimes, B sides became hits.  Sometimes, they even became bigger hits than the A side.

Here are several B sides for your consideration.

Nowadays, there really isn't such a thing (as far as I know!) and, in a way, it's too bad.

The Beatles and "She's a Woman".  This song was the B side of "I Feel Fine" and I loved both these songs, but I loved "She's a Woman" more. 

The Rolling Stones released their hit "The Last Time" with a B side "Play with Fire" which may be one of the lessor known Rolling Stones song (I never seem to hear it) but I have always loved this song.  Here it is,  from 1965. Fun fact, its title was originally "Mess with Fire".

Simon and Garfunkel released "Cecelia" as an A side in 1970.  I have to admit, it may be one of my least favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs (and I couldn't tell you why).  But, its B side?  "The Only Living Boy in New York", a song I Love with a capital L.

The Pretenders released "Back on the Chain Gang" as an A side in 1982.  On the B side was a song that is perhaps my favorite Pretenders song:  "My City Was Gone". The city in question was Akron, Ohio.

The song "How Soon is Now" from the Smiths was originally a B side, released in 1984.  Eventually, it was released as an A side in both Great Britain and the United States because...well, because.  And that's why I have to title my post "Mostly B Sides"- because this song was both a B side and an A side.

Go figure.

And that's a wrap!

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

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Snow Shadows at Last #ShadowshotSunday

We had snow overnight Friday night and woke up Saturday morning to about an inch (2.54 cm) of snow.  We are way behind on snowfall this year (unless we get a big storm in March or April, and that has happened before). 

Saturday, the sun came out for some of the morning, and it was snow shadow picture time.

Our front flower garden sleeps underneath the snow.
One can only hope, despite this, that we may get an early spring.

Joining Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.  Why not come out of the shadows and join us with your shadow pictures?

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Backyard Bird Count 2023

One of my fond childhood memories, growing up in a New York City Housing Authority complex , is watching my mother throwing a slice of white bread out the window onto the small lawn below.  I would watch as pigeons and sparrows descended on the bread.

I had no way of knowing that bread was probably the worst thing to feed a bird, but no matter - I was transfixed by the sight below.  One bird in particular caught my eye - a bird that I now know may have been a male house sparrow in breeding plumage.

In fact, don't think you can't bird if you live in a city.

Some 60 years later, my spouse, increasingly fascinated by birds himself, bought our first bird feeder.  We've been feeding birds since 2020 and learning more about them.

Now it's time, once again, to give back to science.

It's time for the Great Backyard Bird Count.  It started yesterday and continues through Monday.  You you can participate from anywhere in the world.    No registration is required. No experience level is required. No backyard is required.  All you need is 15 minutes of your time, but you can devote as much time (just a minimum of 15 minutes) per watch.  

You can watch anywhere.  Watch like we do from our kitchen window, or from an exercise walk.  Watch from a stroll along a river, on the beach, or a city park.  Anywhere counts, city or country. If you are traveling, no problem!  Any location counts.  All bird lovers are welcome.

All birds count, whether you see them or hear them (or both).

Chances are, you already are familiar with some of the birds in your area.  If not, there are various online ways to identify your new friends.

This is the home page of the Count.  

There are several ways to report your finding.  Take pictures if you want.  (We don't submit pictures).  Also, you can win a pair of Zeiss binoculars just for posting your entries.

If you already post using Merlin or  eBird free apps and eBird is also available via your computer) you are automatically entered just for doing what you already do.  If you are new to birding, it's recommended that you use the Merlin app, which will also generate a life list (list of birds you've seen or heard in your lifetime) and allow you to identify the birds through recordings or photos.

This count is important to scientists who study birds to understand bird population changes, and much more.

I hope you will join in.

We didn't participate but are today, from the comfort of our kitchen and dining room windows.  In case you are interested, birds we've seen today include:  Canada geese, dark-eyed juncos, Northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, and Carolina wrens, although we've only had one 15 minute stretch of viewing.  We hope to be able to see downy woodpeckers and mourning doves, at least, before the Count ends. 

Will you be participating?

Friday, February 16, 2024

February 7 Sunset Part II #SkywatchFriday

Part two of a nice February sunset, one of the few we've had recently.  As I explained last Friday, at this time of year, we have to hoard sunsets.  Otherwise, we'll run out of good ones.

This is about where I left us last Friday. 

What impressed me the most about this sunset were the clouds above the sunset.  Let's zoom in a little.

This shot through sleeping trees seems a little spooky to me.
Sunset reflected on the river.
Grand finale.

Joining Yogi and other skywatching bloggers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day February 2024

Winter has returned to my zone 6a (recently reclassed from zone 5b) New York State garden.  But today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and time to celebrate what is blooming inside and outside.

Our high yesterday was 30F (-1.1C) and breezy.  After on and off mild temperatures it was a shock.  But the good news is, I have an outdoor flower in the garden.

This white Lenten Rose doesn't bloom every year.  Sometimes it puts out buds in late December and then bitterly cold weather comes along.  That's what happened last year - the flowers died before the buds could open.  But this year we have the flowers, and we've had them for several weeks now.

Let's move it indoors.

One of my Thanksgiving cactii lost track of the calendar and put out three flowers.  They are just about finishing up.

Each year I take cuttings of my impatiens and root them indoors.  Here's what is happening with them.  One is blooming....
One almost blooming.

One of my Tradescentia plants (I have three varieties) is blooming.  The blooms are small but they count.

One of my three African violet plants is blooming.  I somehow almost killed this one, and I guess it has forgiven me.
One more.  Let's go outside and see my other Lenten Rose, which blooms in March, putting out buds.

Thank you's go, once again, to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for her 15th of the month Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Library Valentines #Wordless Wednesday

Once again, it's time to give Your Home Library, my home's public library, a Valentine.  It's only fair - they give one to me.

It's time to unveil my Valentine's Day gift from the local library.

Since at least 2017, our local library wraps up various books and displays them.  Each patron can pick one.  

The book we pick is ours to keep.  We make our selection based on a short description.

Here's this year's Valentine book, all wrapped up.  I picked mine because I had a feeling who had written it.
I was right.  Thank you, Your Home Library.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Twenty Six Years Later

On February 13, 1998 a friend and co-worker passed on to wherever we go after this life after a 16 month battle with lung cancer.

She had found a lump on her neck.  She went to her family doctor and he immediately knew something was wrong.  The bottom line was that she had cancer all through her body, so much so that it took almost two months to trace back where the cancer had originated.  

By then it was almost Christmastime, and she started treatment. From the first she knew the cancer was terminal but the hope was to prolong her life.

She was a talented crafts person and spent her first Christmas with cancer making the homemade gifts she loved to make, including for her teen-aged grandson and her co-workers:  and that Christmas we got the final homemade ornaments she made for us every year.

By that first February after her diagnosis she was no longer able to work.

Sometime that summer, she called me at work and invited me to a picnic lunch.  She drove down to her former office, picked me up, and took me to a local park, where she unpacked a lovely picnic set, complete with tiny salt and pepper shakers.  She was having a good day.  We had a lovely lunch.  She said she did not feel sorry for herself, that although she had quit smoking years ago the diagnosis did not come as a shock because of what her husband and she had loved to do-restore old homes.  During this work, she had been exposed to asbestos.

She lived in an old Victorian home, which she and her husband had restored.

At the time we picnicked, our office was falling apart.  Due to mismanagement, people were leaving, one after another.  As summer passed into fall, the last three of us from before this regional manager was hired quit.

One of us got another job right away.  The other two of us, along with our former office manager (another victim of the mismanagement), decided we would visit our former co-worker and have lunch with her every week.    We did for several weeks, but she was getting weaker and weaker and we stopped-although we kept in touch with her husband.

Her second Christmas was not filled with homemade gifts.  Instead, we went to her house (it was the first time I had been there) where her husband gave us a tour. She tried to show us around but had to quit when she couldn't catch her breath.

She was under hospice care.

In January she and her husband were watching the Winter Olympics ice skating. She had fallen asleep on the couch but when he tried to wake her, she would not rouse.  He called Hospice, and they came over.  They determined she had suffered a stroke.

She never regained consciousness.

The Tuesday before she died, the three of us visited her bedside.  She lay on a bed in the living room, a radio nearby softly playing the country music she loved. Medicine from a morphine pump dulled her pain.  Her husband told us that although it seemed like she was in a coma, she did have some awareness.  If we wanted to, we could talk to her and she probably would understand, but would not be able to respond.

What do you say?  What can you say?  I spoke to her for a couple of minutes and said goodbye to her.  I squeezed her hand.

I would love to imagine that she tried to squeeze it back.

On Saturday, February 14, I got "the" phone call saying she had passed the day before.  My spouse was at work.  My then young son was going to a birthday party in a couple of hours and I did not want him to know I was crying.  I vacuumed the floor, silent tears running down my face.

 Her husband and her loved each other deeply.  I think she always expected him to "go" first but that was not to be.  She was only 56 years old.

At the funeral home, photos of her family and her artwork were placed near her coffin.  At the church service, the family invited the three of us to go to the graveside with them, as if we were family.  We declined as we felt the family should be together.

The three of us kept in some touch with her husband but finally, as these things go many times, we drifted apart. Her husband died several years ago.  He had remarried and I hope that marriage was happy.

 In our flood of 2006, I lost almost all of the homemade ornaments she had made for me. What I have left goes on our tree each year and I treasure each piece.

I still think of her every Valentine's Day. 

Rest in peace.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Breakups and Loves #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and time for some music.

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.

We have a guest host this month-Mary Burris from "Jingle Jangle Jungle". 

Before I begin, I want to give a shoutout to Mary, who is undergoing cancer treatment once again.  If you are so inclined, could you send some love or prayer her way? I'm sure she would appreciate it.

Today, our theme is "Love Songs, Breakup Songs or a combination of the two".

Let's get started!  This is going to be mostly about breakup songs with a love song at the end.

There was one song I thought of instantly:  The Greg Kihn Band and The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em) from 1981.

Neil Sedaka and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do".  I have to admit that I like Neil's newer, slower version better than the speedy original. I chose a live version that also incorporates a little "Stormy Weather" towards the end.  His daughter Dara is an actor and also sings.

The 5th Dimension and one of my favorite songs "One Less Bell to Answer".

In researching Harry Nilsson's "Without You", I discovered this was a cover of a 1970 song by the group Badfinger.  I still prefer Harry Nilsson's cover, but I also read this has been covered at least 180 times.  And, sadly, both of the co-writers of this song, Pete Ham and Tom Evans, died by suicide, one in 1975 and one in 1983.

I am wanting to end this on a slightly happier note of love, so how about one of my favorite songs, the Beach Boys and their 1966 song "God Only Knows".  Some, including Paul McCartney, think that the album this came from, Pet Sounds, was the best rock album ever.

And that's a wrap!

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