Tuesday, June 30, 2015


problem with my camera.  The snafu sneaked up so quietly, it kind of took me off-guard!

I've been to every Sunday evening concert in the park since they began this season.  It naturally follows that I took footage of the fantastic performances.  Naturally, I wanted to share.

So, Listener Dear, just listen to a couple of the frolicsome sounds I recorded:

yeh.  I began to realize that all that lovely foot-stompin'-hand-clappin' music had obstinately gone unrecorded!

Now, I did my best to make a little noise about the situation!

I carried the camera to the store where I had forked over good hard-earned money for the equipment.
And the guy had this to say:

(I'm quietly tearing out my hair, Dear Reader. 
[But it's also true, every now and then I make a few sounds. They are not sounds that I wish to share])

Sunday, June 28, 2015


the wizard, The (wonderful) Yard Man and I!  Because, because, because, because, because...because of the (wonderful) things he does!  Yes, sir, Reader Dear! Here was the (wonderful) thing he did: "Let's go see The Wizard of Oz," he said.  "I hear it's really good!  I'm calling to see if they've still got tickets."

Two hours later we were taking our seats.

I sneaked one tiny photo, Viewer Dear, after they'd asked us to please do none of that!

And now I feel like an evil flying monkey for my transgression (but aren't these munchkins adorable?!)

Now, near the beginning of the show, I made a surprising discovery! Dorothy and Toto had just survived the tornado (yes, the very one that gave me nightmares, and a life-long fear of tornadoes, after my eight-year-old viewing of the movie), and had found themselves in an odd and colorful place.  Dorothy exclaims...(say it with me, Reader Dear)..."Toto, I've a feeling WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE!"

The Yard Man leaned over and whispered to me, "So that's where that expression comes from!" 
Dear Reader, my first thought was...WHAT?!
My eyes left the riveting scene below (we were in the mezzanine) and I whirled to look directly into The Yard Man's eyes.  Was he pulling my leg?!* Did he truly not know the story of The Wizard of Oz?! Was he never acquainted with Glinda, or The Tin Man, or the ruby slippers?!  While I had been sitting in my seat, just waiting for Auntie Em, Uncle Henry and the farm hands to run for the cellar, the house to land on the Wicked Witch of the East, and this sentence to come out of Dorothy's mouth...was The Yard Man really taking in  this story for the very first time?!  It would be a story, to him,  in which anything could happen--Dorothy could suffer insomnia on twelve mattresses with a single pea underneath!  Or, she might meet a Prince Charming and trot off to the Emerald City on the back of a horse!

Well, Reader Dear, I'll just tell you now: It was true.  He did not know the story!

We both found this musical production to be quite fascinating, and very enjoyable! (Wow, the acting! The costuming!  The acrobatics! The live orchestra! The staging!)  The Yard Man, however, had the advantage of watching a brand-new story unfold!


As for me, well...I was able to whisper a few spoiler alerts (only given at the very last second, of course)..."He's really just a fellow Kansan!"..."All she has to do is click her heels and say..."

And you WELL KNOW what she has to say, as she clicks her heels! 
Uh, don't you....Reader Dear?!

*A favorite pastime of his!
**Sound-deficient camera renders applause non-existent (in reality, the crowd clapped wildly!)

Saturday, June 20, 2015


It was the order of the evening!
It was my meal out with "The Men." 
All of my sises-in-law (those who had been spending great amounts of time together while the sister from Washington State was in the area) were out-of-town.  (It's understandable; those sisters piled into a van and went to spend time with the [yet one more] sister who lives in Ohio!)

That left, of course, the men to fend for themselves.  They decided on wings and beer at a local pub, and I was invited!
Thus, here I was--the lone sis-in-law, at a table with all these brothers-in-law (plus The Yard Man and a nephew)!

(Reader Dear, I have a great big ol' grin on my face, looking at this photo of these dear XY's who are connected to me by the ties that bind!)

As the lone double-X, I decided I'd do a little research*

*On the sly (more difficult than one might suppose), I jotted down topics of conversation. Though I lost the list, I remember that sports and food were highlights.**

 **But I was such a  minority, Dear Reader, what do I know?!
Any researcher worth her salt might assume my very presence could have skewed this research project!  

Friday, June 19, 2015


That is, it's Philadelphia's Magic Gardens!
Our group of seven is still here, in the city with this captivating place.
These magic gardens are quite unique, Reader Dear, and ever-so-happily I've got photos for you; otherwise, the magic would be difficult to describe!

First of all, we are pleased to walk in and find "family" there to greet us--the daughter of a cousin (nothing strictly magical about that fact, but very charming nonetheless!)

 Then, heading deeper into this enchanting wonderland, my fascination grows! 

It is a jungle of 360-degree artwork!

And the restroom is no exception!

I marvel at the magic snapping-of-the-fingers it would take to create this space, Viewer Dear!

Let me assure you, these photos do not do it justice.
(I did my best, but I am no

Thursday, June 18, 2015


It's where we were, Dear Reader.
We headed down the street.
We saw lots of meat,
and other things that Italian folks* eat.


However, considering our considerable amount of time spent with the Termini Brothers, nothing looked all that tempting.

We had seen the market, rain was threatening, and we had one more stop...so off we headed...

 (Oh, Viewer Dear with your clever eye,
do you spy the bicyclist zipping by [twice!]?)
*Us, too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


of June, I spent the day in  Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

As it turns out, sisters get along pretty well here, too! I trotted around the Italian Market (and other interesting spots) with four of my sises-in-law, a niece, and a brother-in-law.

This family group of seven  happened into Termini Bros. Bakery just minutes before the shop was expecting a tour group; it was serendipitous!  "Are you our group?" We were asked, as we filed into the store (there are narrow aisles). "I guess so!" we responded.  But, hmm, there weren't quite enough of us.  We obviously weren't the larger group soon to arrive.

"Well, I think I've got time to give you a little tour before they arrive," said the woman who had greeted us.

Thus, we got in on our own bakery tour, and some samples!

And I've got it all for you, Viewer Dear! (Minus the tasty bites, of course...and you know that I WOULD share my samples if I COULD share my samples, though it would be rough!)

There were many things by which to be awestruck, Dear Reader.
The top three might be: The age of the place (second generation now getting on in years). The volume of baked items they produce every day (they likely mentioned a statistic, but I'm going on the two garbage-bin tubs of icing, and the wall of baking pans!) And, last but not least, the oh-man-I've-got-to-have-one-of-everything urge by which one is struck while in this busy bakery (yep, personal experience)!


Following the tour, and after our extended time of acquisition, we lugged all of our purchased pastries across the street, and ate lunch in the cafe that also features food by this same bakery family.
We were tickled to discover that every lunch includes a free glass of wine, and a  dessert! 
The food is so good, Reader Dear, that Mr. Termini himself joined us in the cafe, to eat his own yummy food!
Viva panetteria-proprietari italiani!
...With our stomachs full, we continued on...
(to be continued on...)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Friday evening in June  draws The Yard Man and me to the city!  We take James along.

We are pleased to show him the things we regularly enjoy at this monthly event--the galleries and shops, the hors d'oeuvres, the musicians and artists.  Plus, tonight we can revel in the fantastic weather, and the joie de'vivre to which it gives rise.

(Either way, fantastic weather or not, we believe we live in a top-notch spot!)

Monday, June 8, 2015


Midway through the month there was a birth.  The Yard Man was a proud Horse Man!  He named the colt Simon, and passed out photos.

And, there was a death.  The Yard Man and I attended the memorial service for an old friend of his.  Jerry was a man well-loved by many.  He died an untimely death as a result of early-onset Alzheimer's.   It was a sad occasion, a beautiful service.  I had much to ponder, Reader Dear, as I listened to the pastor give his end-of-life words of comfort.

The public library held their annual book sale in May.  
When First Daughter suggested that we attend together, I happily agreed.  "But I'm not buying any books," I reasoned to myself, "since I've already got enough books to build a towering monument to 'This-Book-is-Only-Two-Dollars-Why-Not-Buy-it?'!"

(My monument now towers twelve books higher.  In spite of the fact that it's a charitable cause, and all of these tomes are recycled, next year, Dear Reader, I'm building my monument to The Joys of Self-Restraint)


There was at least one lovely evening at the park during the month of May.   Every actor acted as though life was simply made for lovely evenings at the park!


I must move along to June, Reader Dear.
It has a way of always following May, and I've discovered there is never any stopping to catch up.

Friday, June 5, 2015


of May:

I experimented with taking both  The Little Actor and The Tiny Actor to the Science Factory.

I got a positive reaction!

When I took The Small Actor to a fundraising event,
this positive experience turned him into Spider Man!

Also in May:

There was a visit by the Bro-in-Law and Sis-in-Law (of the California jaunt) from their home in Olympia, Washington. Together, along with the local sises-in-law and The Yard Man, we took a trip to Belleville, Pennyslvania, for the day.  We planned to go to Amish stores and bakeries, and also to visit two elderly aunts of this group.

Fortuitously, we happened upon a large, Amish fundraising auction, as well.  Have I got the photos for you, Viewer Dear!

This auction was run by the Yellow-buggy Amish! (I'm taking my cue from the evidence.)

It was just about lunch time when we discovered the
event, and
(should you not be acquainted with this plain-dressing people) the Amish know how to make food!

Look at this creative idea, Viewer Dear--a salad bar in a boat!

(I ate homemade ice cream).

Moving along, we visited an Amish nursery (as this group of sises goes a little gaga over greenhouses!)

Two of the Amish stores we stopped to peruse  sold household items, and one was selling wooden furniture. 

As we pulled into the parking lot of one of these stores, The Yard Man spied an Amish farmer making hay with a team of five horses.  A five-horse hitch!  This excited The Yard Man (aka The Horse Man), and whatever do you suppose, Reader Dear--he managed to get a turn at driving those five hard-working Belgians!  Clearly, it was the highlight of his day!

It even gave me a slightly quickened heartbeat just getting these shots of an idyllic pastoral scene (ahem...hard work on a hot day!)
And there is more...
(i.e.  to be continued)

Thursday, June 4, 2015


of new posts signifies nothing, Reader Dear, as much as laziness.  I've been lazy.

Consequently, I'm only going to hit the highlights of the lovely spring month I've passed since last I posted.  To begin with, there were these performances I was lucky to attend:

Concert given by The Yard Man and some other musicians, who get a kick out of making music together.

Program given by The Small Actor and his classmates, who get a kick out of seeing their parents and grandparents and other doting relatives in the audience--

that fan club who is getting an even larger thrill by watching these little performers!

And, then, mid-May, there was this event to which I was invited:

Eat It!  food extravaganza held one evening in Philadelphia.  The Yard Man busily handed out samples of his to-die-for butter, while I circulated the room sampling other heart-melting offerings--chocolates and wine and bread and olive oil and cheeses and mushrooms and pears...well, a most extensive and delectable assortment of foods!

The evening included the auctioning-off of a pig, which involved a whole (oink-less, but with tail intact) porcine critter being butchered and sold in pieces to the highest bidder (funds going to a charity). The woman who expertly wielded the saw and knife runs a butchering business with her mother.

The Yard Man, naturally,
brought a hunk of that piggy home for us to pig-out on!  

(If  I may, I will tell you more later of this
month of May that I passed while post-less)