Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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SUNDAY NIGHT! Of course that yard man and I went to the concert. Of course we did!

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And we went down front to the stage, the better to see the guys on stilts.
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And it made our eyes pop, all the dancin' and carrying on (with sticks for leg extensions, can you believe?!)
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It was quite the performance!
And at the very end, those drum-beatin' horn-tootin' entertainers came right out into the crowd and wowed us all!
(It was a wonderful hullabaloo!)
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Monday, July 30, 2012

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FOR DAYS THE WEATHER predictors had been tossing "chance of a shower" into the weather forecast. Some days we had one; some days we didn't. But yesterday we had a shower, and the weather forecast hadn't contained even the merest hint of it!

However, here's the thing, Reader Dear--any woman I know, had they seen the room full of card tables decorated with clusters of tiny potted herbs, and the mouth-watering spread of edibles displayed in the adjoining kitchen, and the sheets of paper with the guessing game, and the...well, even without the sight of the slightly nervous groom-to-be (nephew of my yard man) wandering through the sea of women, any one of these females could have easily told you there was going to be a bridal shower!

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......  Wishing that your greatest wishes for the future stop by to say hi, dear Julie and Ty!......

Saturday, July 28, 2012

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THIS AFTERNOON I PICKED up some balloons to take to a birthday party.
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The red balloon did not fair so well. By the time I got the bouncing bunch home, it was starting to shrink from its watermelon size. When the yard man joined me in the car and we set out for the home of our friends (the man beset with the birthday and his wife who had planned a surprise) it was the size of a cantaloupe. "By the time we get to their house," I wailed, "this thing's going to look like an apple!"

Of course, Reader Dear, it didn't matter a whit. There was plenty of good food, good friends, good cake, and laughter!

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(And, by a stroke of good fortune, the musical card I'd picked out ["...can't you see this cake's on fire?..."] still played!)
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Wishing a Happy Birthday to our dear friend Elias*
* a new old-timer!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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IT HAPPENED, DEAR READER, that as I was taking my walk today, I faced an unusual temptation. There was the distant sound of splashing water, and I could faintly hear two or three folks cavorting in the creek. And then...
I saw the scattered heaps of clothing on the ground!

Hmmm. Turns out that little guy with the pitchfork was riding on my shoulder. (I had no idea he was there until he spoke to me!)  "Hide those clothes!" were his instructions.

Reader Dear, you wouldn't believe how forcefully he prodded me to do it!








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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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AH. THE DAY STARTED OUT in a SNAFU-ish way. Forgot the appointment at ten. Got a call from a tenant--"Locked myself out!" And the painter called, too, from the vacant apartment where he was undoing a load of damage left behind by a far-from-fastidious renter--"Can you get me an electrical outlet? This guy managed to bust one."

I must say, however, Reader Dear...I sure had a delightful breakfast!


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

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"WE CAN'T MISS THIS concert!" said my yard man to me. "Dawes is going to be there!" So we had to leave today's picnic* early in order to get to the park on time.

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*Picnics, picnics, my Dear Reader!
Alas, photos fell by the wayside; it was the third (sensational summer picnic) of the weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

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SIMPLY PUT, Reader Dear, spontaneous summer
picnics are sensationally satisfying, sewing the seeds of camaraderie
(attracting visitors to the picnic table to help sing Happy Birthday
[to the friend at the table who is next in line for a birthday!)!)
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And, oh, the delectable birthday treats (they can be sensationally satisfying too)!









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Friday, July 20, 2012

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MOVIES.

Sequel after Sequel.
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(As promised, Viewer Dear!)
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

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MY SMALL ACTOR is in the area briefly, and spent the day here at my studio! My Little Actor showed up, too! Plus another older child, an active six-year-old. Accompanying them were a few of my grown children, and also my daughter-in-law. So the house (er, studio) was full, off and on (When everyone was in the yard, it wasn't so very crowded inside). We ate breakfast and lots of snacks. We played with toys. We went out the door and came back in the door on a frequent basis (even the dog did this, politely asking to come in by scratching at the door, then shrilly expressing his canine insistence by yapping). We hid inside the sofa (only one of us did this [Er, um.  It was not me]). We went to a restaurant for lunch. Throughout the day, I was making some rather important phone calls, for which I went upstairs (I felt it best not to plead with the professional on the other end of the line to please yell what he had to say). And, yipeeyah, we made an astounding number of movies!

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(Sequel after sequel to follow...)
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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OKAY, I'M AIMING TO TELL you more, Dear Reader, about that trip to the mountains, and how we stopped by a cabin whose owner we know (It was not far off our route). Wide sky up above and small lake down below, who'd have thought, Reader Dear, that populating this cabin for the weekend was (not the owner, but) a whole group of folks we could greet by name!




And further wonder of wonders, I chanced upon a chance to take aim at taking aim! What happened was, I asked about the odd-looking blocks sitting out on the lawn, and Fred said to me, "I won't tell you, I'll show you!"

He went for his crossbow sitting there on the porch; he demonstrated it for me.
Oooohh, Reader Dear, my interest zoomed upward (perhaps in an arc) and I begged for a shot at a shot!
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Now of course there are lots more little details I could carefully insert into this tale,
but I think I'll just shoot (twice) for the finish:

























That's the part where Fred says to me,
"I guess we'll be calling you Dead-Eye Qathy!"


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Monday, July 16, 2012

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DEAR READER, I HAD A mountain-load of stress! I can't stress how stressed-out I was. So what did I do? Went off to the mountains to unload. It was my yard man who suggested we go to the mountains. And then, luckily, we got some friends to go along.








It's amazing what two days of driving through large (extra-large) green hills and staying in an old (extra-old) hotel and discussing everything from the logic of math to the eating of worms and laughing so hard (extra hard) can do! Stress hung its head and went slicking off, no chance of it sticking around!

Perhaps I'll be able to elaborate later (I can't stick around right now, either, Reader Dear, but I'm aiming at telling you more!)

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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DEAR VIEWER: The Happy Birthday Surprise*
A Story in Pictures**
















*Well, you know, Reader Dear, it came close to being a surprise.















Or at least it was a surprise for a few minutes.
























At any rate, the Little Actor's mama couldn't see the brownie cake when she walked in the door; we had squirreled it away quite nicely.





So, except for that tantalizing aroma...

...and that irresistible urge to talk about some kind of cake...

...and the, oh, the tiny bit that slipped out about decorating...

and, um, a few words about candles...










...it was such a grand surprise!!

Happy Birthday, Suzy-Q!


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Post Script:
























**It's no secret...a few words slipped out, too......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

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IT WAS SO BLAMED HOT ALL LAST WEEK! But then...

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Today, ah...just in time for the outdoor concert:
Hallelujah, the heat wave breaks!
The band breaks into music!
It wasn't my favorite genre, but there was a pleasant breeze blowing, and I won't break my habit of rhapsodizing over these superb summer evenings enjoyed with friends!)
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

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I CREPT AROUND THE SIDE of the barn and took in one more Fourth of July fireworks display this evening. The yard man was gone to the Philadelphia airport with the final load of his international horse buddies, and it was just after dark when I heard the popping and shrieking of pyrotechnics very close by. Investigating, I discovered it was just the neighbors with their backyard celebration.

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But what an extravaganza! It was an exciting half-hour.
It was so impressive, I supposed the noisy fire-poppers might be illegal
(alas, the perfect display for those European visitors!*)
There was even some thought that the grand finale might burn down the barn.
(It didn't.)


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*True American spirit!

Friday, July 6, 2012


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THIS REPORTER, READER DEAR, has gotten the inside scoop on a late-breaking news story:

BULLETIN: Little Actor Sighted Making Important Purchase!

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As a reporter, Dear Reader, this is quite a coup! After all, how often does one get to witness an (international) star buying (for the first time ever!)...uh...   UNMENTIONABLES, with his mother?!


















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Thursday, July 5, 2012

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TODAY, READER DEAR, I TAKE THE FIFTH!

(I have the right to remain silent,
and I'm doing just that!)
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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FOURTH OF JULY! And I got to celebrate with the international "horse people"-- the Germans, the Dutch, and the ones from Luxemburg (who have traveled to this country to attend Horse Progress Days [this year held in Michigan])!

We visited for a while over cold beer:
Georg (Gay-org) would look directly at me, uttering interesting and heartfelt sentiments in the German language. Mary Jane (Mah-ri-Zhan, from Luxemburg) would do her best to translate into Luxembourgish into English. I would give a response in English, and that would be translated from English into Luxembourgish into German. It was quite the Fourth of July international dance of tongues!

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So then we all piled into the fifteen-passenger van in which this international bunch was traveling, and we traveled to a hillside spot to watch some patriotic fireworks!

All we folks from the Netherlands, and Germany, and Luxemburg, and the U.S. sprawled on the grass or on lawn chairs, and waited for the celebration of the United States of America's triumph in the war for independence from Great Britain
two-hundred-and-thirty-six years ago!







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While the fireworks were somewhat disappointing
("Not very impressive" was spoken kindly, but with an accent)
all-in-all The Fourth (a.k.a. Das Vierte, Le Quatrieme, Het Vierde) was terrific!

Happy Holiday, Reader Dear (whatever your tongue!)!!
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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WE ALREADY HAD A CONNECTION (as Jelmer had previously delighted the yard man and me with his presence as a guest a few years ago). But now he is back (This time the young Dutchman traveled to the U.S. from the country of Ecuador to make a presentation at Horse Progress Days), and he wants to make yet another connection! The way things stand, however, he's got to bring his laptop right into my kitchen in order for that to happen!

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Which just means that ever since his arrival here on Sunday morning, I get to share his company in my kitchen for several hours a day, and enjoy his humor and wry observations on the American Way of Life.

Today, after he'd been out running errands with the yard man, Jelmer told me he was astonished to hear the classical radio station to which they'd been listening take a break in the playing of lovely music to announce (of all things) A HOT-DOG-EATING CONTEST!!"That is something that would NEVER happen in the Netherlands!" he exclaimed, "--to have a classical radio station tell about something like THIS!" He was fascinated, amused, and ever so slightly horrified!
"It just isn't DONE," he continued, "as the British would put it."
Alas, Dear Reader, the U.S. citizen hearing his remark was nothing if not highly amused! (I was crowing with delight!) "What can I say?!" I begged (finding hilarity in the casual improprieties of my fellow citizens around the country), "We are crude Americans!"
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Perhaps the yard man redeemed somewhat the vulgar ways (of our collective whole) by showing his deep appreciation for Franz Schubert (though Franz was Austrian and not Dutch). Jelmer translated the lyrics of Schubert's "beautiful, poetic" musical compositions for the yard man. It was easy for Jelmer; he speaks five languages fluently! (And has never ever, I might add, seen a person cramming hot dogs down his throat as fast as humanly possible*)

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*(Which is certainly not to say he wouldn't get a kick out of watching!
[He's a man of many interests])

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Monday, July 2, 2012

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LAST FRIDAY MORNING while that yard man of mine was fast asleep in Claire, Michigan, (HPD, Dear Reader! HPD!) I woke at an itsy-bitsy hour and couldn't sleep, so I switched on the bedside light and got into The Plot Against America (Don't fret, Reader Dear, it's a novel [a novel novel, I might add). A couple hours later, just as Philip was talking to his friend Seldon about Fig Newtons and I was getting drowsy and dreaming about catching a little more shut-eye, I started to hear the sound of a big commotion outside. It sounded for all the world like a storm approaching. Aware that there'd be few people to welcome it at the early hour of four-fifteen, I climbed out of bed and trotted barefoot out onto the balcony. Sure enough, a great storm was coming, and a great wind was ushering it in!

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Very soon I heard "Hail to the Storm" being played on the roof and gutterspouts,
and figured this was going to be quite a royal affair!

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And my goodness, there was so much flashing and crashing,
it took my breath away!

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(I did gasp, jump, and think to myself that perhaps I should put something on my feet, since I was rapidly getting wet from the wind-blown rain now pouring from the sky, and those streaks of lightning, couldn't they reach their sneaky electrical fingers out and feel around underneath that balcony roof, find me huddled there, and do with me whatever struck their fancy?!

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Right after I had that thought, the hair on the back of my neck stood up (small possibility it could have been my imagination) and a super-kingly bolt of lightning put the fear (of an early arrival) of Kingdom Come into me and I scurried back into the bedroom and put on footwear and stood on the inside side of the screen door to watch that storm until even that action seemed like too much derring-do. (Make no mistake, Reader Dear, this was a raging storm! For certain, I didn't want to make a mistake!)
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The storm was full of exotic displays, and I couldn't help but stay glued for the whole entire show. It was so long, however, in making its marauding way off into the far distance, that by the time I once again had the cherished thought of gaining more sleep,
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alas! The rooster was loudly announcing HIS kingdom come!!
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