Monday, June 30, 2008

Houston...We Have a Problem...

What would you think if you turned on your computer and all it presented you with was a gray screen and in the middle of said screen was a flashing folder with a question mark in the middle of that?  I cried.  Then I pulled myself together and swore vigorously.  I felt just slightly better.  

There is nothing more devastating in the world than to have one's computer crash.  The devastation has officially happened to me.  And it is devastating.  Totally devastating.  

Lesson learned?  


After work today I will be off to my friendly Apple miracle-working fix-it shop.  I'm hoping they'll be able to save what's on my hard drive.  If not, you will hear my scream of anguish all across the land.  

So, if there's nuthin' new here in the next several days...must go sob now.  



Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Serenity

Who walked these steps before,
Who climbed them to that lost front door?
Were they folks just like you and me,
And this a place of many a memory?
What happened here, why was this home lost?
Progress goes forward, but what is the cost?
History preserved is history forever.
Do we really want to lose that? No, NEVER!



Saturday, June 28, 2008

Questions Unanswered

I sneeze violently. A lot. Just ask any of the people who are around me for more than a 5 minute period of my day. What I cannot understand...

Why don't I sneeze when I'm asleep?

A conundrum...


For your viewing pleasure, I bring you:

Dogwood Blooms on the Downsidephoto taken May 8th
Their last gasp is still
Beautiful, tho beginning
to lose the lovely.



Friday, June 27, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Old Glory flies proud
Through the clouds of angst & doubt...
Don't forget her strength.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

In My Parent's Garden*

*aka: Shameless Family Exploitation - Rounds II & III

Below is an email and photo I just received from my mom (aka mumbum):
Dear ones,

If you want to feed your soul, plant sweet peas. There'll be a big bunch to pick each day, with a scent beyond compare. These are in a bowl of your Grandma Mae's and it was filled 70+ years ago just like it is today. Later in the season it will be filled with nasturtiums.


In short order, my seester replied:

Mom - when you send me your flowers (and other pics) I save them and use them as a screen saver. I have a colleague at the office that loves to watch my screen saver and has her favorites. Actually she gets most distracted when we are talking business if she sees a new one or her one of her favorites. Just wanted to let you know, there is another out there that understands the concept of feeding one's soul.

xoxo, Care


Wish you could see our parents' entire garden.
It is immense and just beautiful.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wondrously Wound in Coiling Circles

Wondrously Wound,
In a Coiling Circle that's
Wound Wondrously!

Perfectly coiled rope
By the dock of every boat.
A sign of respect.

DANG IT, I had the perfect W post all done for today and then I had to go and make a trip to the docks at the local Yacht (loosely used term here) Club to bring a requested camera to my two girls. It just ruined everything about my original post - that W post is out the window! (I'll possibly share it at a later date...don't hold your breath.) Now I've had to create the second W post - work, there's always more work!

My two daughters, along with a good friend, detail boats in their spare time. Since we live within spitting distance from the Sound, it's a good thing to like to do - and to be good at. Anywho - I got the call from them earlier today requesting that I bring a camera so they could take before and after pictures of their work. I said "of course" and off I went! Got to the ~Yacht~ Club and needed to go to Dock C, not Dock A or Dock B, but Dock C of said club. I tell ya, I've driven by this place a bajillion times over the last 28 years and have never guessed it was simply so gi-normas! And the boats! Oh, some of those boats! Huge! Just huge! Well, maybe ~yacht club~ is a term not so loosely used afterall! Dang - I've digressed again!

I walked down to the main dock and was immediately drawn to the rope formations you see here. To someone who had never seen anything like it before, I found them to be just incredibly beautiful! They are obviously formed out of what rope is left over after the boat is moored.

Of course I am in the midst of loudly ohhing and ahhhing, wondering what these marvelous bits of loveliness I've just discovered mean, when one of my darling daughters says to me "MOM, really, it's no big deal! We all do that!" "Why?", I asked. "Well just because," she replied. "No, but WHY? There has to be a REASON!", I
most likely
yelled atasked her. Her exasperated reply, (and an answer I'm choosing to firmly believe): "Because it's a sign of the respect you have for the owner's boat and the good job you've done making his/her boat look like new!"

Whatever, dear daugher! I find the ropes to be absolutely beautiful and cannot possibly believe I've been here as long as I have and so very close to the water and have never even had a clue these random works of art existed. (Obviously, GB and I are not of the ~boating bunch~!)

I wonder if they have a name or if there's a tradition behind them. I tried to find out, I really did...and came up empty, bereft, saddened from the lack of knowledge on this subject.

Do you know? Do let me know!



Thanks, WT!

ABC Wednesdays is brought to you by the lovely Mrs. Nesbitt.
Do join us!



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shameless Family Exploitation*

*AKA: Using my Baby Brother's Material for
My Own Most ~Brilliant~ Post

And Also Known As:
Words of the Day Redeux,Apricots on Steroids

My brother, Bill, emailed the family today with news & photos of his apricot crop. (Really, that should be his plethora of an apricot crop. And as you will read, in the past several years, there had also been a total dearth of an apricot crop. That so works for me and my favorite words thingy!) Without consulting him, I have decided that his pictures and words would make the most lovely post here for me at the Tombstone. Aren't I just the best older sister???

"Apricot Production to the Point of Failure"
Bill wrote:
"When we bought the house
[in 2004], this apricot tree was just barely taller than me. Didn't produce apricots that year or the next. I told it that if it didn't produce apricots, I was going to cut it down and use it to smoke a turkey. Apparently, it listened. Last year, we had about 30 apricots. Delicious. This year? The tree got serious about apricot production!

The Abundance is Unabating...Steroids are Suspected...

Obviously it is much taller than Bill now......And that tree will never be smoking any stinkin' ol' turkey!
It most certainly has earned it's keep!

On another note, have you all heard anything about the biggest land fill in the world??? Did you know it is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean??? Until very recently, I had no idea - no idea at all! While I'm not one to preach about much of anything, I must say that this bothers me a LOT! The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is real, is growing at an alarming rate and, I believe, is a huge issue for all of we humans who occupy this one and only earth.



Monday, June 23, 2008

Word of the Day


pleth·o·ra:  A superabundance; an excess.

[Late Latin plthra, from Greek, from plthein, to be full; see pel-1 in Indo-European roots.]


As used in a sentence: "I'd been given a plethora of roses for my birthday. While in and of itself, that was simply lovely, I do wonder why I wasn't given a plethora of 3 carat diamond stud earrings, one for each ear, instead (sigh)."



Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Serenity

Sung to sleep
by a distant lullaby
filtered through raindrops and leaves.

~Annie Halsam


Saturday, June 21, 2008


Well sumpin'...
'cuz it's an untold story....
so not nuthin'



Friday, June 20, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

My Perfect Day...

This morning I slept in, then
Lunch with eldest daughter,
Afternoon golf & margaritas with jules,
Dinner with GB, jules & Connor-man,
Evening blogging with my mac.
Does it get any better than that??
(BTW - I parred that hole! Yes, I know it was a miracle (sigh).)



P. S.  Want to know about all things tequila?  Check out this post by BBum (my bro)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Pretty, A Meme, A Birthday


Meme #1: I'm supposed to list those blogs that "had me at hello"...well, there are quite a few I follow regularly and at one point or another they all "got" me. Below is a short list of some (some is the key word here) of the blog posts that have me coming back for more and more. (I'm not even going to include my dear friends, (among them, mental, my bro bbum, and jules come to mind), as that would just be cheating!)

In no particular order:

1. Noble Pig: She had me forever and always at "It's Hard to Watch". The memories it brought back made me tear up - especially today as it's my baseball-playing son's birthday. And the rest of her posts have continued to be superb. You'll LOVE her.

2. Daryl: She had me forever and always at "how i met my man". This struck a chord because, well, simply because this is both hers and my 30th anniversary. Quite a feat, at least for me! Love her NYC angle on things.

3. Kacey: She had me forever and always at "Deja Vu". I am a Columbia, MO girl and all of her boys have gone/are going to school there - so, nuff said! That's not the only thing she blogs about - all her other posts are just a cut above the rest!

4. The Fishing Guy: He had me forever and always at "Weekend of Fishing". When I saw that mess of fresh water fish....I just melted back to my growing-up years and all the fish that was on our dinner table many many evenings - so very delicious!

5. Chronicles of a Country Girl: She had me forever and always at "My First Attempt. Ever". Kate has one of the few blogs I've been able to read from first inception to present. Well worth the read in my humble opinion.

There are so many other blogs out there that I so enjoy - some I've only begun to follow, others I've been following for some months now - and I don't want to slight ANY of you! And do know that even if I don't comment every day, I'm still reading!!!

To those I've mentioned (and anyone else), if you want to continue this meme, please do! It's good to acknowledge those who give us pleasure. If you're not so inclined, that's ok too, don't cha think??

I've only been doing this whole blog thing since January. Don't know what is in it's future, but do hope it's something that's worth sustaining and just a bit wonderful....


Happy happy birthday to my one and only *Bly-Guy*!
You're the very best son a mommy could ever have!
24?? Bly - you are so old!
How come I'm not????
Love, love LOVE you! xoxoxoxoxmomxoxoxoox



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Voracious Views for ABC Wednesday

A V kind of Wednesday:

Two Views of a Very Voracious Aphid Eater...One photo from a down perspective...

One photo from an up perspective...

Whatever...ladybug is quite the effective aphid eater!



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

(Tart Cherry) Memories...

...pressed between the pages of my mind...for always...

My dad and I share many things in common, the most important of which, at least food-wise, is our love of tart cherries - baked in a pie,* to be exact. Good thing both our birthdays fall in June - the peak of the tart cherry season - as we always both request a tart/sour cherry pie for our birthday "cake". Most years this is possible, as you can see from this year's bounty (above), but some years it's not - last year Missouri endured an unusual hard (temperature was a sustained low 20's all night) freeze in late April, killing all the cherry blossoms - not one cherry to be picked, darn it - and other years the dang birds have managed to eat all the cherries before the humans could partake of their gloriousness. However, this year???? Yessir!! I am going to have myself a late birthday pie come this August when I go home! I might even share a piece with dad. (He's already had his birthday pie, so don't feel too sorry for him!)
For anyone interested in purchasing tart cherries and without a ready source - and that's 99% of the population (outside of Michigan) - go to Friske Orchard's website - their cherries are just superb - that's where we got ours the year of the big MO freeze!

The above photo was taken by my mom, and considering she's in MO with cherry trees in her yard and I'm in CT without cherry trees in my yard, that makes perfect sense. DUH! (And yes, I realize she is an incredible amateur photographer! DUH, again!) The below is an email and photo mom sent to her grandson (my Dodgie, who is also my brother, Bill's, perfect son, thus my perfect nephew):

Dear Roger [Dodgie to moi, remember?],

Granddad and I were picking cherries, I reached in and saw this curled pile of something on the limb. When the limb moved, the pile straightened and climbed up the tree. He is still there, enjoying the sunshine. Do you know what it is?
Miss you, love to all
Grandma Mary, etc.

(tho moi can tolerate earthworms, moi would have gone screaming into the house if moi had encountered said snake!!!)
(Just a small aside.)
Dodgie's reply:

Dear Grandma Mary,

It's a snake. I think it's cool. This is the first time I ever saw a snake up in a tree. I've heard of it but I've never seen it.



*Mom's Cherry Pie Recipe:

"what recipe? This is as close as I can get! You know it's always just a throw 'n go thing here!"

Sour Cherry Pie (Mom's crust recipe sent upon request - and it is the best crust you'll ever have)

Crust for a double crust pie (see above)

sour/tart cherries to fill a nine inch pan

4 T. flour, about
1 cup sugar,
2 T. butter

Roll the pastry into one very large round, Place it in your pie pan, (you will have a large amount hanging over the edge. You can leave this and when you pie shell is ready for the top crust, just bring the overhang up and over. That's what I call "Your Cheatin' Tart".
Alternate method, trim the excess, letting it fall back to the work surface to place on filled shell. When your pie is ready for the top crust, pick up the strips that fell away and spiral them over the top. This is almost as pretty as a lattice and much easier.
Sprinkle the bottom crust with a couple of T. of the sugar, put half of the cherries in the crust and sprinkle with the flour and half of the sugar. Add the rest of the cherries and sugar, dot the top with the butter. Place the crust on top, your choice of methods, sprinkle with more sugar.
Bake at 415 F. for about 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and if it getting too brown, reduce the temperature to 375 F. for the remainder of the baking time.

Serve with vanilla ice cream if you must, but why spoil a perfectly excellent thing??



Monday, June 16, 2008

A Pretty & A Snippet

Monday morning prettiness & a snippet for you:


Conversation on a recent all day beach field trip:

Teacher's Aide: Vera, you're getting a little red, there. Want to borrow my sun block?

Teacher: Oh no, I don't need any. I don't get sunburned.

T.A.: Really?? How come? I thought everyone burns eventually.

Teacher: In my family we don't burn because we keep a homeopathic household.

T.A.: _____________________. (Speechless: 1. because she know if she opens her mouth she'll burst out laughing, and 2. because she just doesn't know exactly how to respond to complete stupidity.)

Fast forward to the next morning. T. A. runs into teacher in the hallways of school. Teacher is bright red.....her nose is blistered. T. A. immediately does an about-face and sprints in the opposite direction. She has the decency to burst into laughter - finally - after running into the bathroom. She also decides that a homeopathic home is no substitute for SPF 50.



Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Serenity

Father's Day...

Doesn't really matter that it's not "his kid"...
He loves his Connor just the same.

The good dads of the world know how to ~father~ any child.

Above, GB fishing and fathering our nephew Connor-Man.

A big Father's Day thanks so very much to all the men in the world
who are good and positive influences in our children's lives.
You all are truly the
and to my incredibly wonderful father - love love LOVE you!



Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Very Grand Old Flag

America's Old Glory...May She Ever Fly Over Our Beloved Nation...

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.

Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
~ George M. Cohan

Flag Day 2008


And in tribute to a true American
whom, over the years,
I've come to deeply respect

Tim Russert

tv commentator, political teacher
, patriot



Friday, June 13, 2008

Sky Watch Friday...

Bugs and all...


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Word of the Day


1. A scarce supply; a lack: "the dearth of uncensored, firsthand information about the war" Richard Zoglin2. (obselete, rare) Dearness; the quality of being rare or costly.

While I didn't pen the example of using ~dearth~ in that first definition, I certainly agree. (There I go - being "political" again).
Below is my attempt, after the photo, of the second definition...
In this old world of ours, there truly is a dearth of roses
whose aroma is as beautiful as their appearance.
Behold the Bonica rose.
She breaks the mold.
Dearthness begone!



P.S. Head on over to Mental Mama. I have it on good authority that she has used this outstanding word in her post today as well.

P.P.S. Our high today was a cool 89 with low humidity! Hurray!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

U is for...

UndercoverDo animals see in full color as we do,
or predominately in black and white?
Whatever, Mama Mallard's nest is well UNDERCOVER!


Ahem, Mother Nature....
High temperature on June 10th is...101?????


All I can say is UGH!!!



P. S. Happy happy birthday to my most wonderful dad. 85 years today...and doesn't look or act a day over 60! Love love love you! You are the very best!

P. P. S. Happy happy birthday to my dear cousin Heather! You share a birthdate with another wonderful human being and I love love love you both!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HELLLLOOOO! It's Only June!

Dear Mother Nature,

Have you lost your ever lovin' mind??I have a small bone to pick with you. While I would never try to second guess your outstanding weather timing,
I must tell you you're an idiot and I can't understand why we are having temperatures close to scalding - even the hounds of hell are profusely sweating for cryin' out loud, and it's not even the middle of June!Remember June? Springtime. Rainy. Cool. Ring a bell??? While I am grateful you supply me with a seemingly endless supply of beauty, what are you trying to do, kill all the beauty you've given me???, I can't help but wonder if these extreme temperatures might be harming the very beauty you create. Hmmmm...

Notice the temperature gauge in my car as I left work....
(yeah, I know, that's not the actual temperature,

it's simply how hot it actually felt!)

Now notice the high temperature of the day at my home....
(yup, that's the actual high temperature,
not just how hot it actually felt!)

Finally notice the ungodly temperature at 4:00pm today at my home.
What is the matter with you??? I am profusely sweating and you are insane!
I really am not at all happy with your fahrenheit choices of late!
Possibly a change in thinking is due, Mother N.??
(No, your eyes aren't deceiving you.
At 4:oo pm it actually was 90 in our house.
Our AC is on the fritz. Not a good thing at all!)

Do Love you, MN, xoxo abb


Note to Self: Mother Nature's beauty NOW!
Ommmmm...OK, much better now!

Mr. Bumblebee having his way with Miss Mountain Laurel.

I've never noticed before that the tiny stamens
are first folded up in the middle and then
unfurl to each of the red spots. Lovely!
(It has something to do with the bumblebee's/honey bee's visit.)

Miss Mountain Laurel is the state flower
of our beautiful Connecticut.
Isn't she just magnificent?
(Obviously the heat doesn't bother her one bit.)
(Hmph!! I think I'm jealous!)



Monday, June 09, 2008

A Parting Gift...

I finally bit the bullet and severely cut back my hibiscus. Hated to do it because just about every branch had at least one bud on it, but it had become so tall and spindly, to the point of pure ugliness, I simply didn't have a choice. It looked even worse than it did in January, the first time I lamented the fact the plant looked awful but with all the bloomage I couldn't possibly bear to cut it back.
Funny, this plant bloomed like crazy for it's first year or so, didn't bloom at all for many many years, then suddenly, in the last few years, and for no apparent reason, has bloomed like mad! I almost threw it out during the barren years, but being a sentimental old fool, hung onto it. Glad I did!

There were two branches that had blossoms on them that looked almost ready to open so I put them in a vase to see if they would bloom. They did and how beautiful they are, as you can see! A parting present from an old spindly hibiscus, and I do mean old. My mom gave this hibiscus plant to me on my 30th birthday - that was more years ago than I care to admit to!

Sorry, Miss Hibiscus, you look really pathetic now! I promise I'll feed you lots of Miracle-Gro and hope hope hope you have it in you to once again grace me with your gorgeousness!



Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday Serenity

Prayer Feathers



The above Prayer Feathers were a gift from jules - she knows a lot about soulful things. 
My prayer feathers are hung and are enfusing me with their goodness.
Who could ask for more?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Witchy Woman

Recently I was driving through this wonderful town I live in, on a street I frequently drive on, and for the very first time in the 30 years I've been here, I looked up and saw THIS! The most perfectly wonderful weather vane I've ever seen!
When I get my fancy-schmancy new camera with it's state-of-the-art zoom lens (don't hold your breath - I need to be better than an amateur to justify that purchase!) I'll most assuredly take a better shot to share with all of the three of you who visit me. For now, hope you enjoy this very blurry shot of one of the neatest weather vanes I've ever seen. Wish it was over my home!



Friday, June 06, 2008

Out the Bedroom Window

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see!

~ Irving Berlin


Thursday, June 05, 2008


In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'll let you in on a little secret about me. I love spring. Not just like it, but LOVE it! The flowers almost overwhelm me with their beautiousness (that's a word, you know. I use it all the time, so that makes it a word.).

Two of my very favorites are wisteria...

and lilacs....and they're both purple!

Wisteria gone mad! This lovely tangle hangs above one of our streets. You can't see it in this photo, but the vine trails down a 30' long rock wall on the left. The picture really doesn't do the vine justice - it is magnificent in person!
And here's my little old wisteria. I had wanted to train it to grow along our fence, but that was a most futile effort. All I got were little runners that never amounted to much. Guess I have a vine that thinks it's a bush!

Hop on over to my flickr and you can see many more incredible purple beauties!



Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Trout Stream

Trout fisherman trout fishing on the Saugatuck River

Trout streams full of

Trout dreams*
*this photo courtesy of this guy. Thanks!

One man's trout dream come true:
Trout fisherman wading his
favorite trout stream with his
favorite trout fly-pole, smokin' his
favorite big fat stogie,
waiting for the trout to strike.

Maybe the stogie smoke keeps the bugs away, too...