Sunday, March 29, 2020

Flowers Bloom, Color Returns

 The picture above was taken last August as I was driving home from our 95th Street Library Brown Bag Lectures. Twice a month the library would have a presentation from a "story-teller" dressed in an appropriate costume, speaking as tho she/he were indeed that person. Fiona Carnarvon, the former mistress of Highclere Castle, also known as Downton Abbey was the main event that day. Enormously entertaining, a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Driving home I spotted a garden growing along a fence line in full bloom. It was on the opposite side of the divided road so at the next available turn I did a quick U-turn and backtracked to the blooming garden. OK, admittedly I should have had both eyes on the road, but I'll bet any photographer will confess that their eyes are always on the look-out for those unexpected moments.  As I parked, grabbing my camera I was a bit hesitant, because the garden was planted along side a long driveway leading to a house. I took my chances and approached, ready to come up with some excuse if needed, and began to make the pictures you see here. It should be obvious why I stopped...!!  

  I love flowers and I love taking pictures of flowers. I have gardens in the front, back and side of my house and the joy that flowers bring to me is comforting, reassuring, and refreshing.  The flowers in my backyard bring me comfort as I sit on my screen porch looking out at the pinks, reds, yellows, purples and greens.  Reassuring that every year the daylilies, are the first to poke thru the earth as it begins to warm, knowing that other perennials are sure to follow. And my gardens are a refreshing change from the long, cold and sometimes dark winters. 

I'm not sure how the next few months are going to unfold but I can be assured that seasons come, flowers bloom, and color returns. 

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul." – Alfred Austin 

Until next time.....stay safe,

Thursday, March 26, 2020

And Get Dressed Too....

Longwood Gardens 2019

In the forced solitude of waiting, lean into silence.
In the mindfulness of inhaling, exhale grace.
In the intentionality of washing your hands, feel God’s presence with you.
In the darkest valley, remember that Christ is the light of the world.

This passage was the intro to one of daily Bible studies and it is so appropriate for today and every day for that matter.  I am currently on day 14 of my self quarantined status. I have only gone out of the house to take Lily for walks, I haven't driven my car in 2 weeks, probably will have to take driving lessons when this is all over. Saving money on gas. saving money on restaurants, saving money on movies.  But believe me I would rather be spending money on eating out, going to the movies and concerts. I am blessed that I can stay home and not worry that a paycheck is not coming at the end of the week. 

Paris - April 2019

Currently my family is all OK and still have jobs, however my daughter did close her dance studio and is ofcourse unsure when it will re-open. My son-in-law, grandson and his wife, and my granddaughter are all working from home. My granddaughter in Denver is still working at an emergency vet, they are considered necessary. My son is going to work, but he and his production manager are the only ones working, his 2 stores are currently closed.  His wife is able to work from home. I just shake my head that never did I ever think that I would be writing these words. Ofcourse none of us considered anything like this would happen in our lifetime. 

Our 24 hour snow last week...

I just watched a book talk webinar and the author being interviewed stated that we are actually overdue for a world pandemic. I guess I haven't studied the history of pandemics enough to realize that this comes along in every so many years. Sure wish it could have waited longer to repeat history in 2020. If you search for Pandemic on the Wikipedia page you can get more information than you probably want. It even lists the books, movies and TV shows about a Pandemic. No thanks. We hear enough about it via emails, TV and social media. 

Lily and the ball...

So, how are you doing? I'm still fine, but growing somewhat weary of all this and what is so exhausting is the fact that this is going to be our lifestyle for the foreseeable future.  I love my pets but being with them 24/7 is draining, not Gracie, but Lily. Since she is still a puppy she stretches my patience to the utmost.  I don't have children that have to be corralled into staying home, I don't have a husband that could be out of work, I don't have any financial worries at the moment so I am truly blessed to be in the condition that I'm in. I need to remain positive and know that we will survive this. I don't usually watch much TV except streaming services ie: Netflix, Hulu, Prime, & Acorn thus keeping me from hearing the bad news all day long, but I did read an article about Governor Cuomo from NY that is worth a watch. Apparently he gives daily TV interviews,  is a straight shooter and a caring individual.  Not too big on watching President Trump, he wants everyone back in church on Easter Sunday. I want that too, but we need to be rational, that ain't going to happen. 

Tomorrow my buddies from our defunct blog "Focusing on Life" are having a wine gathering via ZOOM. We try and get together once a year but it has been awhile since we've all been together. Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, New Jersey and Arizona all represented, hopefully all will join the party.  I guess I'll have to put on make-up and fix my hair, oh and get dressed too. 

Til next time....

Friday, March 20, 2020


A couple of days ago after being self-quarantined for several days I decided to start my long-deserted blog again. Well, wouldn't you know it, I couldn't access my blog, and after trying different methods, got discouraged and gave up. Today I got the urge again and "googled" how to access your blog and google stepped me thru the process and voila it's back. I do believe "google" has to be one of my best friends.  It/She/He/They always seem to have the answer. No more laying in bed wondering what the answer could be to almost anything you could possibly imagine. The thought of starting over with a brand new blog was too daunting eventho I definitely had the time, I just didn't feel like using my brain that much. Ever do that? Just don't want to do something because it will exhaust the brain particles that are getting fewer by the day?  I know you are supposed to exercise the brain to keep it healthy, but re-designing and creating a brand new blog was just too much for right now.

So, how you doing? What strange times we are living through right now. Remembering those old TV movies about a Pandemic are way too real now. I'm just hoping and praying that people will heed the warnings and do all the things that are suggested by the medical professions. And those idiots down in Florida, thinking it's no big deal, young people think they are immortal and hopefully they are, but perhaps their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc are not. I would like to return to the "real" world again sometime soon and not be in my house without human company before too many more grey hairs appear. News flash....Illinois is now in "stay in place safe" position.  In other words, stay home. California has done the same and my son had to fire 53 employees today because of all the closings. He fired them so they could collect unemployment and will re-hire when all this is over.

Thank goodness for texting and face time....

Since last I blogged I have gained another beating heart to my small family. Besides Gracie, my rescued cat I have a new Golden Doodle puppy named Lily. Lily is now 7 months old, I've had her since September 30, 2019 and we are still at odds with each other. If I've said this once I've said it at least a dozen times...."What was I thinking?"  Gracie and I were doing just fine, the two of us. She is a very social cat and is with me most of the time, until you know who joined our family. I must admit that as time goes on Lily, now 7 months old, is a bit more settled. She sleeps more than she used to, thank God since I'm here 24/7. In fact right now she is asleep next to me. Shhh don't wake her up.

Trinidad, a really colorful city...
I had a great year last year with all the trips I was able to enjoy.  I launched the year in March with a trip to Cuba. We began in Trinidad and worked our way to Havana. What a country, beautiful but so in need of reconstruction in so many places especially Havana.  We had the absolute greatest guide while there, born & raised in Cuba, recently retired from the government, worked right along with Castro so he gave us great insights into the people, economy, culture and country.  In fact, he still stays in touch with each of us. Received an email from him a couple of days ago showing his concern for the US during this time. Apparently Cuba has seen very little of the virus. They volunteered to accept the cruise ship from Great Britain, the MS Braemer that had been stranded.  Extremely friendly and generous people.

  The area in Havana where we stayed..

El Malecon in Havana

The tobacco fields 

The old refurbished cars waiting for business - Havana

Great trip. Was able to get very well acquainted with Mojito' know those wonderful drinks with Cuban Rum, Cuban sugar cane and mint. Oh my!  

Take care, wash your hands, and stay at home if possible...