Monday, February 19, 2018

Care to Dance?!

When the question came to me, it was actually worded thus, "Do you want to go along to a dance party?"  It was First Daughter asking.  Turns out she was taking her younger son, my Tiny Actor, to a fundraiser that was being held by the preschool he attends.  She had also invited his cousin, my Small Actor, to go along to the Saturday afternoon dance. And my Little Actor was coming, too, to support his younger brother.

"Artie (cousin, and Small Actor) will be a pro at this!" is what my daughter predicted to me.  "It's the only way to get Ira (Tiny Actor) out onto the dance floor!"

Well, we got to the party and there was a loud and lively beat going on, and an actual DJ on the stage! In spite of this, though, the three actors made a beeline for the refreshments and vowed in no uncertain terms they were not going to dance!   

"Nope!"  they all declared, their plates piled with cookies, animal crackers and goldfish.

.


More and more tots arrived (This dance was specifically planned for the youngsters, though there were plenty of adults who couldn't stand still to the music ! [I confess, Reader Dear, I was one of them,  though I did my best not to make a fool [dancing fool, that would be] of myself!*)


*That twisting-and-shouting number, well, who else, Listener Dear,  would really know anything about that dance?!

 By the time the dance was in full swing, and the Small Actor had eaten his fill of sweets, he had a look of readiness in his eye.  It didn't take a whole lot of urging and suddenly he was on  his foot and moving!   So then, just as his mother had predicted, the Tiny Actor eagerly followed the Small Actor onto the dance floor!  They lingered at the edge for a while; but, before long they were full-fledged little dancing devils in the middle of that crowd!


(So much so, Viewer Dear,  that their grandmother had a hard time turning off her camera!)


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**The oldest of my diminutive actors (Little Actor) is not into dancing (or massive crowds of preschoolers).  But he did most patiently endure the dance (kudos to him!) and he got his fill of cookies.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Have You Ever, Reader Dear,

had Buckeyes for breakfast?!

I have a dear cousin who is not a Buckeye (those humans who hail from the state of Ohio [where grow all those Buckeye trees]),  but he knows how to concoct a stunningly tasty, edible Buckeye (those chocolate-and-peanut butter confections that make you want to stand up and shout, "Hail to the person who concocted these!"

At the breakfast table was also a bowl of mixed nuts (roasted by the wife-of-cousin, my very hospitable hostess this morning!)  I was the only guest at this breakfast table, and, in addition to the  Buckeyes and nuts, I was presented with gifts!  Perhaps the most special was the mother.  Yes, yes, you heard me right, Reader Dear: My cousin gifted me with a mother!*
*(The mother had a name, but I
don't know how to spell it. Scoby?)

*Our human mothers were sisters;  but, once again, I'm not talking of humans here.


Before you get too confused, Reader Dear,  let me say: in addition to the foods at the table there was the drink.  Kombucha!   Lest I set off on a tangent about how delicious this beverage, and how nutritious and good for the body, and how entertaining my cousin's description of making it, plus his other interesting endeavors...I'm going to quickly give you a  rundown  of the steps for creating this beverage (as told to me):

1. Brew a gallon of black or green tea (herbal tea won't do!).
2.  Add a cup and a half of sugar*
3.  Add the mother**
4.  Add extras such as ginger or orange, etc.
5.  Let sit.
*Don't be concerned.  The mother will eat the sugar! ( So said my cousin)
**See what a gift?! Without the mother,*** this tea will never be Kombucha!

***noun 
1.   a stringy, mucilaginous substance consisting of various bacteria, especially Mycoderma aceti, that forms on the surface of a fermenting liquid and causes fermentation when added to other liquids, as in changing wine or cider to vinegar.





I must tell you, Viewer Dear, that the appearance of the mother is rather enough to make a person cast their eyes elsewhere and feel a bit queasy!  The photo below does the mother great favors (shows her in the very best light)! 


But, looks aside, she is essential to the life of Kombucha.  And, too, only a mother can produce a mother. (So said my cousin).  Thus, those receiving a mother as a gift, well,  they should be looking upon her as a thing of beauty! (So say I).
Oh, the lovely mother!

(As to the Buckeyes, those two that I ate at that breakfast table this morning didn't need a mother.   Adam and Eve, I'll call them; they needed only a super-capable creator, and these two had a great  one!)
Thank you, Cuz!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Pitching You a Question, Reader Dear


Reader Dear, oh, Dear Reader, what does one do with all the pretty Christmas cards that have been sitting on display for all  these long winter weeks, until  now it is nearly the day for more cards (the kind that are filled with X's and O's and other sweet sentiments [These cards won't be nearly as plentiful, of course.  But they will make those joyful, bell-ringing, tinsel-and-holly ones look as outdated as pumpkins and dried cornstalks!])


Do I just pitch them?!

And while I'm at it with this pitching question:  What does one do with albums filled with a half-century's worth of real, actual, pick-up-and-squint-at-them photographs (plus all the scattered non-album kind) that have been repining in an overstuffed cupboard for years and years?!
Looking at the birdie
Most of these photos are not studio pictures (Dress up, drive to the studio, sit with head cocked at whatever angle the photographer orders, look at the little bird above the photographer's head, and smile as though you mean it).  That kind of photo was and is a precious and rare type and must be saved for all of posterity, of course. But what about all the snapshots.  What about the nearly faded-to-obscurity ones, where the photo was snapped by an amateur,  timed for a few seconds, ejected from the camera  and peeled from its backing to oohs and aahs of amazement?  What about those?!

Do I just pitch them, too?!









And here's yet another question to ponder, Reader Dear:   What does one do with all those items so old and rare and infused with decades and decades (if not centuries) worth of nostalgia that it's very tough to rid oneself of them?!  (I'll make a list, but it's going to be long, and it's going to get tricky [I still want an answer])

1.  Lovely old tin box containing thick curly locks of human hair tied in faded pink ribbons, hair that was cut from my mother's head when she was a six-year-old with Undulant Fever (Incidentally, this was the very year that penicillin was discovered, though not in widespread use; she had to survive the illness without it).



















2.  Ancient German books, passed down for four or more generations by the fine folk who lent their    DNA to The Yard Man, many of these tomes inscribed inside the cover with the owner's name (or names from each generation).










3.  Tiny tea sets given to me as a child, one set from each of my grandmothers.



4.  A charming couple of acorn-head dolls, handcrafted by the paternal grandmother of the Yard Man.


5.  A hundred-year-old falling-apart leather book-bag with my paternal grandfather's initials stamped in gold.

6.  Contents of book-bag:  Certificates and school report cards of my father (whose top subject was math, I note). A faded, barely legible, penciled essay on the importance of obeying one's parents.

7.  Ah, and so much more!*  Once again I pitch you the question:

Anybody for pitching?!

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*Viewer Dear, must you see it all?!  The antique dishes?  The dolls?  The paintings? The woven baskets? The braided rugs? The wooden loom?  The antique lunch box?  All of the knick-knacks?!!  Aargh.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Are You Still There,

(Two trees awaiting a match [one of them discarded here as a favor])
Dear Reader Dear?  Am I still a blogger (with a capital B)?

I've been hauling Christmas out the door, parts of it to the burn pile in the meadow, and parts of it back up to the attic. 

I've been turning the pages of the calendar and thinking about the pace of time! Watching the days go by, one after another.

I've been thinking "Life is SO weird!"
and "Hmm, wish I had a video of those horses (the Yard Man's, of course) trotting so splendidly in the morning sun; I'd blog it!"

I've been busy caring for loved ones.  Busy caring for tenants, as well (they're not exactly "loved ones," but needy human beings, nonetheless.)

I've been entertaining guests (though, ahem,  "entertaining" may be a bit of a stretch.  Let's just say, I've been providing a spot to lay their heads, the dear friends!  The dear brother!)

I've been ruing the fact that I didn't share the Christmas videos.  Rueing the fact that I've started countless* blog posts and let them die of expiration.

*Not really countless.  There were six.**

**Dear Reader Dear, I've decided there will not be seven.



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Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Flash of Pre-Christmas

Never, Reader Dear, have I had a Week-before-Christmas remotely similar to the one that just transpired!
There were hospital visits to Philadelphia, to the University of PA Hospital  (where Wife of Only Son, aka Only Daughter-in-Law now resides [for what we hope and pray is a successful and shorter-than-average temporary housing stay in ICU]!)

 

Small Actor enjoying his Fruit Robot
(specialty of mine)
The week was stuffed full, with trips to the hospital, as well as good times with the Small Actor (who misses his mom),



plus other events, the  celebratory sort!
..........................................................................
The Yard Man and I had not attended a formal anniversary party together, ever.  During this pre-Christmas week, we were invited to attend not one, but two on the very same day (fortunately, one a luncheon, the other a dinner).  These two celebrations had some things in common, of course.  
CAKE! 
DECORATIVE TABLE SETTINGS!     

GOOD FOOD!
Both parties offered us a delicious meal.

 But, for interest's sake, I'm going to tell you about a unique feature of each party.
The luncheon party was given by a couple celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.  And who, Reader Dear,  do you suppose was in attendance?  The very same minister who married these two!  (It may not be that unusual; the fact of it, however, both fascinated and pleased me.)
The anniversary dinner, then, was an event planned (by their children) as a surprise for friends who are celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary.  The guests were huddled in a small cloakroom adjacent to the dining room where the table was set.  When these two came through the door, we popped out to shout "Surprise!" They appeared to be slightly flummoxed, and, yes, surprised!  (This, too,  tickled and pleased me!)

Wishing both sets of long-since bride and long-since-groom many more years of marital bliss (er, well, at least marital contentment with loads of downright happiness!)
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And one more episode, which didn't quite sneak into the final pre-Christmas week, but was ten days prior, and definitely deserves a mention:  The Yard Man and I took friends and went to a concert in York, PA**
Darlingside! 
 
**About a thirty-five-mile drive and jeopardized by the fact that we got snow, falling so beautifully all day long, but leaving us to ponder the odds of getting to hear
Darlingside!


As you can no doubt determine, we made it to the concert and it was terrific!  It was so difficult to stop recording snippets of the performance.  If you like what you hear, Listener Dear, be sure that you make a point of taking yourself to a concert by


Darlingside!


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Christmas Eve, coming right up!