Friday, May 31, 2013


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SHOWERS WERE EXPECTED!
Well, I knew there was nearly a one-hundred-percent chance that at least one shower would occur today, early afternoon.  I was even privy to the exact time and place, due to the fact, Reader Dear, that I was planning to be at this affair.  As a friend of the MOG!  (Yes, yes, that's right--it was a bridal shower!  The Mother of the Groom-to-be had issued my invitation, and the setting was to be a "high tea".)


Oh, and right on schedule, there was a shower of tea and tiny sandwiches and tea cakes and many other edible delights!



And there was a shower of gifts!




 There was also a down-pouring of games and laughter and good wishes for the glowing bride-to-be!



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Like showers often are, on a hot June afternoon, this one was so refreshing!*

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 (*The one and only male attending this tea was very young. He seemed to enjoy it immensely, though he did do a little napping during the games.  But when I came home with my hand-made chocolates (shower of gifts didn't go just one way), a man and his son were here to see me.  As  I described the delightful tea, and the tiny scones, and the great fun that was had as we fashioned bridal gowns of toilet paper, the man wrinkled up his nose.  "Thank goodness men don't have to deal with such stuff," he said. [Ha. The poor things; may all their showers be very wet ones!])

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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SAD TO SAY, THE TINY ACTOR has been languishing without a starring role lately.  I'm about to remedy that.  Immediately!

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Even sadder to say, he's been struggling with digestive issues.  For quite some time, it's been difficult for him to eat and sleep.  It's not something with which one so young and sweet and talented  and adorable and  (oops... I'm getting carried away) should have to deal.  But when I produced this movie today (rushing into production so swiftly the lighting crew hadn't even arrived [had to go ahead without them!]),  I was so proud of him, the way he was able to rise above his physical setbacks and give such a terrific performance!

Monday, May 27, 2013

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TODAY, IN ADDITION to the holiday, I celebrated the fine weather by serving lunch on the porch.  The Yard Man and I shared the dessert that was left over from yesterday evening's meal with our offspring, which happened to be pie.
As part of today's celebration, I heated up the pie, and I whipped up some cream to dollop atop.

Since pie was the main course, the only course, I consumed it in tiny bites.
And I mused to the yard man,
"This is the first time in my whole entire life I have ever eaten a lunch of strawberry rhubarb pie and whipped cream.  It might be true for you, too, although you grew up eating this kind of pie and I didn't."

"Hmm." He thought about it.  I'm sure it's true for me, too," he said.

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And then I went on savoring the pie and whipped cream, and the freshly-brewed garden mint tea, and the holiday, and the sunshine, and the idea that we were forging ahead into tasty new territory!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

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BEHIND EVERY LONG pause lies a major life question: Am I fizzling out with this blog?
And while I asked myself that question several times during the past week, my only clue to a negative response was a positive one--I kept taking pictures!

...Of a spring day hot enough to make one wish to shed one's clothes.
And a sole soul brave enough to do it (er, well...the only one I witnessed with this intrepidity)!


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...Of a spring day wet enough to make one ponder how long it would take for one and all to drown if it were to never stop raining (Yes, I did say "all" but calm down, Reader Dear. I also said "if" )


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...Of a little orange fang I picked up in the parking lot of the bank, squishy and loitering around my tire, where it had no business hanging out!

Unfortunately, I'd missed the bank's open door by six minutes, and the last employee to leave the building was driving away as I circled the lot.  When she saw me hop from my car to peer under it, she rolled down her window and hollered, "You drove over a traffic cone; it's there at your wheel!  Ha, ha, you're not the only one to do that!"

And then that bank employee continued on her way, giving me a check just once more as she left, her rate of interest very low!
"And they call that good bank-customer service?!" I harrumphed.  I tugged and twisted and wondered how I would manage if I couldn't make a withdrawal, and this orange feature were to be permanent.

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But I needn't have worried.
(Hurrah for total strangers with a high rate of interest, and a very nice offer
to risk life, limb [or at least besmirchment] to make that withdrawal for me!)
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Saturday, May 18, 2013


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AH, READER DEAR...in the very regrettable event that you were not blessed with a silky late-spring evening and a chance to walk along the sidewalks of a small-sized city in which Music Friday events were happening last night, perhaps you could eke out a tiny bit of the experience via the following:

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Yes, it's paltry.  The clips are not long.  They're not recorded well.  There are precious few of them. I can't just toss to you the additional delight of knowing one of the performers personally. And then, of course, there's the unavoidable drawback of my utter incapability to infuse these slivers with the exultation of spirit brought on by an evening of perfect weather. 

So sorry. Please plead kindly with your imagination to do its best.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013


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"ARE YOU GOING WITH US?" asked a sis-in-law of mine.  It was exactly a week ago, she had called to say, "We're going to greenhouses in the morning.  Be at my house at seven-thirty if you want to go along."

So I was there (last Saturday).  There were lots of flowers at Sara's house, and some of them spread a most lovely carpet on the lawn!  But it was potted flowers we were after, this gang of four whom I joined (sisters of the Yard Man, plus a niece).  "Have you ever gone along to Henry's with us before?" they asked me. When I said no, I didn't think so, they chorused: "Just wait 'til you see Henry's!  You won't forget Henry's!"  (It was clear to me that Henry's was going to be the highlight of this morning excursion.)

But first of all, we stopped at a small greenhouse filled with herbs.  The trusting Amish woman who grows these plants had left a note for would-be buyers: We are not here today--you may help yourself and leave a note.






 

















There were a few other folks buying herbs here, and they were stuffing the cash into a drawer.  I contemplated this, and tried to conjure up a world where all of humanity (including,...uh...the IRS) would be so trusting and trustworthy!
I chose two parsley plants and potted cilantro, and a little imp inside my head wanted to leave my dollar bills in some odd spot where the seller would be surprised to find them.  I could write a note, as requested.  I could make up a poem, an ode to herbs and honesty.  It could be a treasure hunt, and...Ah, but we were on the way to Henry's!  I tucked my money in the drawer, and scampered out to the van.


As soon as we got to Henry's, of course, I could see it was someplace special!  People were streaming in and out of the greenhouses, cartloads and boxes filled with flowering plants.


And when I got inside, I sucked in my breath.  The space inside the greenhouses could only be called a flower museum! (Well, that's what I dubbed it.  If you ever see it, Reader Dear, you can call it a grand eclectic mix of creativity, or whatever).  There were flowers spilling over all kinds of fixtures and furniture, and potted in unusual and artful containers.
It was a feast for the eye!  


                                                                    
 All the exclamations of glee from my sisses-in-law and me (Wow, would you look at this!  Oh, don't you love this! I'm going to have to get me one of these!...well, I suppose they were a feast for the ear, if Henry happened to hear!)
















I sensed a rooster-ish theme pretty early on.  They were mutely crowing their presence everywhere.



Which made it somewhat surprising that a Billy goat was the real live animal keeping watch over the whole operation!  (Er,... isn't this the second goat I've had the chance to talk to up close and personal in the recent past?

 Yikes, do I sense a theme of my own developing here...?!)

After Henry's, we visited a couple other greenhouses before we transported our minivan load of flowers back to Sara's house.  And those greenhouses were certainly okay.  And one was big.  But they weren't Henry's!
Let me just say this:  
Have you ever visited Henry's, Reader Dear?
You should go see Henry's!  Just wait til you see Henry's!
You won't forget Henry's!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


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THURSDAY.
FINAL DAY of this little trip.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER.
Call it what you will, Reader Dear.
We got up in the morning and strolled around Easton, Maryland.  Which is where we discovered that folks were gathering in the town square (and such a delightful square--birds singing, shade and sunshine, nature at its finest) for prayer.


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Sorry to say, we did not stay


We had to drive out to visit the bay
(Couldn't postpone it for another day
[Because, well, we had to go home that evening, hey, hey])

Way out at some tippy-tip point of Tilghman Island, Maryland, is where we stopped and spent a pleasant half-hour.  We had to stop; it was the end of the road.  Had it not been for a very large vessel out there on the horizon, and the obviously man-manipulated rocks at the water's edge, the Yard Man and I could have imagined ourselves to be the first two citizens of the world!  (Yeah, well, there was the big paved area, too; quite sure the Yard Man and I wouldn't have managed that on our own. Though as it just so happened, it didn't deter me--I got to thinking those fanciful thoughts, anyway).

Returning to a world populated by other folks (whew, thank heavens) involved backtracking on the roads we'd traveled to get there.  That's how the Yard Man knew the very spot he was going to get himself some lunch! Eww, boy--a crab cake sandwich and fries!


As for me, I held out for a place that provided tables, though this place was nothin' if not authentic, Reader Dear (two old codgers shootin' the breeze, the cook's twin babies romping on the floor, the "jiffy market" shelves stocked with such an assortment!)   Of course, while the Yard Man raved, I (slightly) rued.
"This is the best crab sandwich I've EVER eaten!" He smacked his lips.






But my crab sandwich was pretty good, too.
And with a water view!

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 By the time we had finished up the double lunch, and strolled around to several shops in Easton, it was just about time for evening prayers (on this day of prayer).  
We headed north. 
Headed home.  
Headed into the next forty years.  

(Say it however you wish, Reader Dear!)
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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WELL THEN, HERE WE ARE!
After a sunny drive across the fields and farmlands of Delaware and Maryland,  The Yard Man and I arrived in St. Michael's just in time for a dinner overlooking the bay (or an inlet off of it, at any rate).  Honestly, I could have consumed only crackers and water and likely felt just as delighted by this dining experience, so tickled was I by the action-packed view!


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That same breeze that fluttered the flags and fueled the flights of the sailboats whipped up the surface of the water into charming wavelets. 
But then it was the sun that gave us a fascinating finale!  As we dined on our seafood delicacies (oh, many steps up from crackers), I commented on a line of light that extended across the water, directly toward the window beside which we were seated.  "Yeah, I noticed that light, too, as it's been moving across the water," said the Yard Man.  We studied the view, searching for the source.
   "Ah, ha!" exclaimed The Yard Man.  "I think it must be the sun reflected off of something over there above that white arched structure.  Look, as the sun falls further, the light comes nearer!"  It was moving so fast, Viewer Dear, that no sooner had we made this discovery, than the light disappeared from the water.  We pondered the phenomenon for several minutes before we thought to investigate the wall behind us.  Displayed right there on the wall was a shadow of the two of us! (Alas, I couldn't retrieve my camera fast enough!)

But there was more.  The top half of the wall behind us was mirrored.  As the sun sank rapidly (we couldn't see it, but trusted it was falling), the reflected light from the distant shining surface moved up the wall to the mirror.  For a brief moment, reflected sunlight was beamed our way from both directions! Judging by our exclamations of glee, Reader Dear, you'd have thought we'd just discovered a brand new secret of the universe (or at least the key to marital bliss)!
  

Then...just like that...it was over. 
The brilliant reflection disappeared.
It got dark.  Our waitress brought us the check.

(It's amazing, however, how the memory of this little show goes on shining...)

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Monday, May 6, 2013

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OH, GOOD GRIEF. I didn't bet on accidentally deleting Tuesday and having to re-write it!   And to make matters worse, I've been dawdling.  I'm going to hustle us all along right now at a (hopefully) speedy clip, Reader-Viewer Dear!  Wednesday morning (on the slight chance you're still tagging along somewhere on this forty-year trip), after I opened the blinds and saw a blindingly-blue-sky-and-brilliantly-beautiful breezy day,* The Yard Man and I took a final ocean-side walk, ate some lunch, and hopped on a ferry, all set to get ourselves to the Chesapeake Bay.  

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Here it is:  The Ferry Ride--Start to Finish.
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(Because pictures are the easy way to get you on the ferry, Viewer Dear.)

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And though the TV was a noisy intrusion, the wind got so rip-roaring breezy while the ferry was leaving the dock, that I filmed from the interior portion.

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It settled down a bit, but there were points in the hour-and-a-half long cruise where anyone walking around the vessel appeared a bit besotted.  Speaking only from personal experience (I wandered all over the ferry), one could feel that way, as well--grasping handrails and seats and strangers just to keep from sprawling on deck. video
(Get set, Viewer Dear, it's disembarking time)

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It was a lovely little ocean voyage, but not the summit of our daily water-fest.
We exited the ferry and drove across two entire states in time for that highlight.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

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YEAH.  TUESDAY IT RAINED. Again.

We could make the delightful breakfast with the steaming pot of coffee and the yogurt and the fruit and granola, carried to our room on a tray, last but only so long.  We spent some time reading.  Watched a little TV.  And then the Yard Man offered up a shiny red apple a la Eve in the Garden of Eden.
"Why don't we drive up to Atlantic City," he suggested.  "I've only ever been in a casino one time."
I snatched up that apple just like that! (Reminiscent of Adam, I fear).
"Wonderful!" I crowed.  "It will be a nice drive through the countryside, and then we can spend some time and quarters playing the slot machines!"

The Yard Man got a worried look on his face.  I believe he wished to ask the Serpent a question.

But, nonetheless, we headed north toward the Den of Iniquity.  And the rain kept falling.

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Now, Reader Dear, if you've never been to Atlantic City, or a giant casino, I wish you'd have been along.  Although, not if it thrills you to throw away money.  Or if you've got the crazy notion that gambling is a good investment.*  We spent some time wandering through the vast complex of shops and betting parlors.  Ate a cheap lunch (the parking is free; the food inexpensive; they show up with  free drinks while you're gambling.  How they polish up that apple!)

I said to the Yard Man, "I'm going to set aside a small amount of money, and see how long it takes to play it.  We can just chalk it up to entertainment."

 
As it turned out, we kept ourselves occupied with the spinning numbers for an hour and a half. Ultimately, the money shelled out would have purchased a paperback book and not much else.









So when we left that garish place in the late afternoon, we didn't carry away any winnings.  But we did carry away a pair of salt and pepper shakers that the Yard Man had purchased in a kitchen shop.  "Oh, these are great!" he'd exclaimed when he found them.  "Those shakers we have at home are disgusting!"  (He's been grumbling about them for ever so long, Reader Dear!  And before that pair, each replacement set that I'd introduce, he'd find something about them that wasn't up to snuff).  Now if I were to bet on this pair--this pair that he discovered-- I'd say these will be just the ticket!

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*A tax on stupidity
my dad used to call it.
This time it was fun; but once is enough.
I won't be coming back!
You can bet your bottom dollar on that, Reader Dear!
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

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CONTINUING ON: WE GOT TO THE OCEAN at sunset.  And the next morning it was Monday.  There was fog and rain, and there were garbage trucks. The weather was chilly.
Our walk along the oceanside, it should go without saying though I've just got to say it, was a foggy, rainy, chilly one.


We had to wear jackets.
It was solely due to the inclement weather that we hopped aboard a trolley and took a soggy tour of the town. We didn't need a tour; we know the town well.
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After that trolley ride, we visited a bookstore.


And then, oh, God bless the rain, we got to spend a perfectly delightful afternoon in that cozy hotel room with the likes of Henrietta Lacks and Anna Quindlen and the margaritas and the Mozart playing softly.


















Spoiler alert, Reader Dear:
Next comes Tuesday.
It rains again.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

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I WENT CAPERING off with The Yard Man (forty years ago; and last Sunday, too).  Certainly, all those decades of togetherness deserved Paris or Polynesia at the very least, but Cape May, New Jersey, was our destination. 
Since we were going in the direction of  Longwood Gardens (as well as the fact that it was the site of our very first time in each others' company after "Oh, here's someone you've got to meet!" [i.e. our very first date!]), we opted to stop there for a breakfast of chili and cornbread. (Okay, well the menu was what it was).  And then, a lovely surprise--
They'd arranged to have forty-thousand flowers  blooming just for us!
(Amazing how many others folks were there to see them, too!)












































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Later in the afternoon, still heading in an easterly direction, the interlude at the wine shop we came upon was perfectly timed.  "If you stick around a bit," they told us, "you can watch the vineyard run!  We had five hundred runners here this morning, and this afternoon we're expecting another four hundred."


It was just our anniversary luck to have a rave-worthy treat and a leisurely visit with Mr. Billy B. Goat before the jogging masses arrived.



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(There were chickens at this winery, as well, but I haven't the faintest idea why I'd wish to show them to you, Viewer Dear)



...to be cont'd...
(as there is so much more that I do wish to show you)