Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Serenity for Remembering and Honoring 9/11

Cousins Mike and Mikey
Father and son are at the end of our Blystone street - the very beginning of the annual ~CT United Ride~ - that just happens to have its start right around the corner from us. Gets me ever year - a very emotional half-hour or so watching over 5,000 (give or take) motorcycles - both civilian and police - ride by in honor of the victims of 9/11.


In CT United Ride's words: 

"The CT United Ride is a motorcycle ride honoring those who lost their lives, those who gave their lives, and those who continue to put their lives on the line each day as a result of the tragedies occurring on 9/11. The CT United Ride is sponsored by the CT State Fire Fighters - the UPFFA of CT. This event is the largest 9/11 tribute in the State of Connecticut."


Dad showing his son
About patriotism
Son catches on fast

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Sunday Serenity

Father sitting on Daughter's Memorial Bench

GB taking a moment to commiserate with our Rem...so much love!
Overlooking the first Frisbee-Golf hole at Cranbury Park, sitting on Rem's bench

My sis is in town for the weekend and wanted to go visit our Miss Remy's bench, so off to her bench (and tree) Care, 
GB and I went. Care and I sat on Remy's bench for a bit and communed with her - both in memory and in the
 here and now - and then went for a walk. Rem's dad decided to stay behind and have his moment with his daughter,
between just the two of them. Of course, a ~gift~ of a cigar was involved. Rem giving her dad a cigar had become
something special before her death, and has become even more so now - long story there for another time.


Love your lovies...you never know just how much time you have left with them, on this earth!


Thinking about all
We treasured together...and
When we'll hug again

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Serenity

wisteria bloom with a touch of honey bee wing


Wisteria flower
Blooming when it should't be
And it's beautiful!

~~~  

xoabb

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Serenity

the bottom of 2nd Street - the best place to capture sky photos
The clouds at sunset
Such beauty found in the sky
Never tire of it

~~~

xoabb

Friday, August 19, 2016

Foggy Missourahhh Morning




Winging my way home
After a wonderful time
I want to go back

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Serenity

eggs of a speckle
cardinal eggs...hopefully uninterrupted

My parents have wonderful folks that help them with the heavy labor in their garden because, well, at 90 and 93, it's just not physically possible for them to do everything anymore. (Hell, I'm 61 and couldn't begin to do all that, tho they both seemed to be able to do ALL THAT at my age...) Yesterday, their helper had been clearing off the non-producing bean trellis when she stopped, came in the house and asked what she should do about the suddenly discovered bird's nest, complete with eggs, that was nestled in the trellis. Mom quickly told her to cease and desist, which pleased the gal very much, as she said: "O goody! I'll have to find some pulled foliage to protect the nest from the sun! So...nature wins out over a neat garden. A mighty good choice! (We eventually found dad and he heartily agreed that the nest should stay.) 

Just hope mama redbird won't abandoned it!

Clearing out debris
Sometimes leads to a surprise
Hey mama, come back!

~~~

xoabb

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sounds of a Summer Night



I've never realized
There's ebb and flow to the sounds
one hears in the night

~~~

xoabb

(I didn't change the volume level - that's just the loud/soft sounds of a Missouri night)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Off to my Dreams...

perennial hardy hibiscus. Dad said he started with one red and one white, and ended up with a
light pink flower* with no center redness - it's beautiful!
~
The dance is over
It's time to go. Off to my
Dreams...there's no more show...

*Dad's hybrid
~~~

xoabb

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Little Punk Blossoms


what we've always referred to above as a mimosa tree blossom, we've come to find it's really not.
My grandparents had two of the beautiful trees growing in the backyard of their California, MO
home. Every time I see a tree in bloom, I think of them, with much love, much much love. 


Little punk blossoms
Blooming in your pink pink way
Wish I could be you.

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Gifts that Inspire Serenity...on a Sunday

There are the little things that I absolutely love...
Gifts from the heart of a ~bff~ - a metal bird nest and moonstone egg, 
Gifts from a traveling parent - a perfectly egg-shaped rock from some forgotten beach
Gifts from the dump on my parent's property - a tiny bottle with a cap that has an ~A~ stamped on it
Gifts from nature - two little acorns that fell too soon and are adorable, but not at all grown up
And a wayward green visitor ~gift~ I found in my bathroom...now free to the great outdoors

~

Little things that mean
so much. Forever friendships,
and a lot of love.

~~~

xoabb

Friday, August 05, 2016

Our Sweet Sweet Father, August 2016

dad reflecting on a reflecting pond - glass still that pond is tonight - waiting
for mom, Care and me to return on the golf cart from Chanterelle-picking overload

We love this dad, ours,
Loving us always and there
For us, thick 'n thin

~~~

xoabb

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Plumbago in the Evening

the beautiful flower, plumbago, that dad grows in a pot on the deck - color not enhanced by me - at 6:00pm.

the same flower (different cluster) captured at 1:30pm in the full sun - color not enhanced by me



Plumbago flowers
No matter what time of day
Beautiful you are!

~~~

xoabb

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Chicken-of-the-Woods - An Edible Treat!

photo taken on 7/31/16 @ 3:49 pm
  
photo taken on 8/1/16 @ 2:31pm
(covered in mud spots because of the hard rain that fell last night)
photo taken on 8/2/16 @ 3:20pm


photo taken 8/3/16 @ 3:27pm just before harvesting
Mom has been watching a certain oak tree all spring and summer just waiting for the perennial chicken-of-the-woods to reappear. Yesterday it finally did! On our way back from Claysville Store, she looked over and saw her c-o-t-w's for the first time! (It hadn't been there when we left at noontime.) After we were dropped at home, mom and I immediately got in the car so we could go take a photo of it and try to estimate when it would be time to harvest it to eat. That first photo is of the mushroom yesterday. It rained all night and most of today so it wasn't until just about 24 hours after the first photo was taken that we were able to go check on the c-o-t-w's and see if anything had changed. MAN! Talk about growth spurt! Look how much that baby has grown in just a days time! (If you look at the little green plants on the left, you can see they're exactly the same in both photos.) If that were a human baby, I'd say it had gone from an infant to a 10 year old in one day! At this rate, it'll be ready to harvest in the next couple of days! Can't wait to see how big it is tomorrow!
We harvested it today, the 3rd of August. Had a bit of it tonight just to try it, and will have more tomorrow - will let you in on the secrets of Chicken-of-the-Woods preparations!

~

Soon on our dinner table
Deliciousness waits!

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Serenity

Bleeding Heart

I took this photo back in 2009 while in NYC visiting Daryl near her home - can't remember the name of the lovely
park we were walking. Kate had come in from MD, and Lauren and I had traveled from CT to join in.
Bleeding hearts have always been on of my very favorite flowers...well haven't yet met a flower I didn't love...
and this is a photo I've held dear for more than a few years. 

Little dancers! All
In a row, bobbing along
To their unknown beat.

~~~

xoabb

Friday, July 29, 2016

Evening Serenity by the Pond

My parent's beloved pond around 6:30pm. What memories this body of water holds for our entire family!

Evening's peaceful calm
Spreading over the landscape
And now...day is done

~~~

xoabb

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chanterelle Gold




Mom & I were on her golf cart hunting for chanterelles in the woods surrounding our parent's home. Did we ever walk into a chanterelle-gold treasure-trove! (It was in the same place in the woods we've found a good patch in previous years, but never in this quantity.) Only problem was, it wasn't where mom (she's golf-cart-bound) could drive to it, so, you get the ~glorious commentary~ from moi as I was yelling back to her so she could ~share~ in the find. (Just turn your volume down and no snotty thoughts on my commentary or my voice!) The number of chanterelles this 2016 summer has just been unbelievable! We've had them on pizzas, in stir-fries, in pasta toppings, in sauces for steaks and chicken, as a side dish. 
We have refrained from including them as part of our frozen yogurt dessert churning!
YUM!! 




A pirate’s chest spilled
on the forest floor, spreading
it’s chanterelle gold

~~~

xoabb

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Poor Beans 0 - Critters for the Win

Blue Lake Beans...
valiantly trying to grow...it's not going well.

Daughter Brynnly and I have a plot at Norwalk's Community Garden. It's intended to be for us to reap the harvest of veggies to enjoy eating. This far, our plot is apparently for the ground hogs and rabbits to enjoy eating. The beans don't
have a chance, nor broccoli or cabbage. Thought we'd scored a home-run with the pepper plants. Yeah, the critters
hate the foliage, but the pepper flowers? They love 'em! The only thing that seems to be safe are the tomato plants and the
chive plant. Even our basil hasn't been safe. It. Is. SO. Frustrating!
Blue Lake beans, going
Going gone! Critters have won
We need a good fence!

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Serenity

Kousa Dogwood
"The spring blooms are probably the tree's largest selling point - and its most misunderstood.
The white "petals" aren't actually petals at all.
They are modified leaves called bracts that surround the small, greenish-yellow, insignificant flowers."

Like a flock of birds
Floating by on white white wings
Beautiful Kousa

~~~

xoabb

Friday, July 15, 2016

Our Sunday Family Dinners (2/29/09)

Rosemary blossoms, February 2009

I wrote the below post originally in February 2009. It pretty much perfectly explains what our
Sunday Family Dinners are all about and why they are so important to all of us.
For the original post, click here. For the re-posted post, click here.
For cousin Julie's wonderful take on SFD, click here.
(The oven fries recipe, below, is often a part of our SFD's.)



My World: 

There's one huge aspect of my world that I really don't write much about here, which is really quite odd, considering how important it is to me. It is something near and dear to my heart, whatever the aspect of it is. Matter of fact, it's quite near and dear to the hearts of my family and friends as well. We have shared many wonderful times over it, and, I suspect, will continue to do so ad infinitum. 
So what, you ask, does the above photo have to do with anything at all, let alone the mystery aspect of my world I'm blabbering on about? Nothing and absolutely everything, that's what! It's a pretty enough photo that I enjoy looking at, and hope you do to, but what it really stands for is...food. Food. It's such an important part of my world and I really don't talk or write about it as much as I should. How often have we gathered together, be it two, ten or many folks, to celebrate, commiserate, grieve, just be with each other, laugh, love, play, where food is the centerpiece of the gathering? How irritated do the children of this wonderful collective family of ours get when we miss Sunday Family Dinner two weeks in a row? (Right now they're really mad - we're going on our 3rd week of missed SFD with no end in sight. It's not a good thing.) How wonderful is it to gather together and share good times over good food? It is a pleasure to be forever treasured. And I know we're sending these children of ours forth into this world with the conviction that our Sunday Family Dinner gathering is a tradition whose celebration is sacred, should always be nurtured and never ever forgotten. Food is good. Life is good. For the most part. 
~

Those Oven Fries

potatoes, chunked, quartered, cut in wedges, whatever
extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat everything
garlic and/or onions, chopped
fresh rosemary leaves, stripped off tough stem
fresh ground pepper and salt
cayenne
(lemon juice is a most excellent addition)
oregano or other herbs if you think necessary - I don't

Now you know why I can't bake - I don't measure anything...ever. Preheat oven to 425ยบ. Wash potatoes, cut into whatever shape you want. Using whatever amounts you want, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes. Turn potatoes over and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Serve immediately. 
Delicious with just about everything, but especially good with roast chicken, lamb and salmon. It goes without saying (so why am I saying it?) they're delicious with hamburgers and steak. Heck, they'd be good with liver!



~~~
xoabb
expect anything!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fierce!

Fierce Little Revolutionary Soldier

This young man's photo is from another stop on the tour Bly & Angie just took. This stop was a historical site that reenacted Revolutionary battle scenes that apparently included youngsters. This little guy really got into it - and got it! Look at that face! Fierceness personified! I'm sure he would have fought proud and hard had he been alive all those years ago. So wonderful to let the young-uns ~live~ history and what a great way to learn! Here's a photo of him and his friend leaving: 

Two little soldiers marching on

Two little soldiers
Marching on to adventures
Just 'round the corner

~~~
xoabb
expect anything!

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Very Full House!

Barn Swallow Babies

Son Bly and his wife Angie took a tour bus up through New York state, and at one point visited this brick structure. As Bly said, "I don't see how all those babies stay in that nest without someone falling out!" Those barn swallow babies certainly look like they're about ready to fly the nest to me!


a very full house!
mama swallow must be ripe
to see her babes fly!

~~~
xoabb
expect anything!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Dreadful Duck Weed

Lemna minor, commonly known as duck weed, has plagued our usually beautiful pond hugely this year.
This doesn't happen every year, and, matter of fact, the last time this occurred, our pond company sprayed
the entire pond surface with Round Up because, at the time, it was considered ~a bio-chemical that was
environmentally safe and very friendly~. We were told that after a very short period of time, it would break
down to nothing and leave no traces behind. HA! (We also had the aerators installed after the RU application.)
Considering all the damning evidence that's come to the front about Round Up's lack of
~good for the environment~, that wasthe first and last time that remedy was used.
Now our pond company has told us the only good way to remove the duck weed is either skim it off (really???)
 or cover the pond with a black sheet to block out all the sunlight (really???).
So very practical, those two solutions!
So this year we live with a very green pond and hope that next summer the duck weed is in ~remission~. (sigh)


duck weed on our pond
a scourge and a huge eye-sore
please go away NOW!


~~~
xoabb
expect anything!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Gathering Flowers for the Old Folks

Flowers for the old folk
My dad has been an ombudsman for a local senior citizen facility for quite a few years now. More than once I've heard him announce that he was on his way to visit the "old folks". This, coming from a 93 year old man. He and my mom have been both vegetable and flower gardeners for all the years I've been alive, and when it's flower season, he never fails to take big bouquets of flowers to the "old folks".  Mom, on her golf cart, caught Dad cutting flowers to take with him for his visit.
It just doesn't get much better than that.


a bit of sunshine
to light the lives of others
something dad does well

~~~

xoabb

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Never Give Up!

My brother and his son are visiting our parents in COMO for the next week. Of course, they're both nature nuts
 and even though they arrived late at night, my nephew needed to go exploring. 
He found this lizard that was -  tho it was perfectly safe as said nephew would never ever hurt any creature
unnecessarily as he is of the mind to ~live and let live~ -  thinking it was fighting for its life! 
(The photo is my brother Bill's; caption is my mom's (well, Mary).)

never give up! 
no matter what comes your way!
tenacious always!

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Dad

To the very best man I've ever known (sorry George). 

contemplating life
over a gin and water
can it get better?

~~~

xoabb

Thursday, June 16, 2016

my rosa bonica

We've lived in in this home of ours for nigh on 40 hears, and at some point, we planted this beautiful rose bush.
Rosa Bonica...it's my very favorite rose...well...outside of the Rosa Peace.
And, of course, the old heritage roses, which are the only roses that have any
of the wonderful rose essence left to inhale. (sigh)

rosa bonica -
the beauty you've brought to me!
glorious, you are!

~~~

xoabb

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

a hummer headache

Mom and Dad have been hanging hummingbird feeders for the, oh, last 30 years or so. With no problems.
Apparently, those days are over. For the last several weeks, they were perplexed to find the feeders
completely empty of sugar water every morning. Enter our cuz who came over and set up a motion camera,
complete with flash. First night, the culprits were captured! Well, at least on film.
Now to find a solution to stop the little crappers...


Two naughty racoons
Taking the lazy way out
Hey! Go eat some fish!

~~~

xoabb

Monday, June 13, 2016

gloria!

On a tide-dependent inlet by Long Shore Golf Course.
Don't know how long she's been there, but it looks like forever to me!

Gloria! It looks
Like your are stuck there! With no
Hopes of moving soon...

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, June 12, 2016

heritage daffodils

The heritage daffodils that are found around our home and are
the remnants of former homes that have been here over the ages.
No longer bulbs you can buy, but to be treasured for their old souls.
Food for my soul!


Lovely daffodils
Your age is timeless, and thus,
We should treasure you.

~~
 
xoabb