Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Picture This:

Viewer Dear, I had every intention of showing you pictures.  Sunday evening was the final Concert-in-the-Park of the current summer.  The evening's weather was exceptionally pleasant.  The music was country-style.  My camera was operating nicely.  But, then this:  Darkness crept up and enveloped all of us viewers-slash-listeners.  The concert ended (as all things must).  I packed up my lawn chair, and bid good-bye to the very good friend who'd spent the evening viewing and listening with me.

Monday morning I looked for my camera.
Tuesday morning I searched everywhere. Exhaustively!
Tuesday afternoon I drove through the pouring rain to the Best Buy store.
Viewer Dear, I bought another camera.
Right there in the parking lot, then,  I took  pictures!

The rainstorm was a concert of sorts, but not the one I wished to share with you.
As you well know, Reader Dear, sometimes in life one must go with Plan B!
If life hands you lemons, you must make lemonade!*
*On the other hand,  Dear Reader,  if life hands you lemonade,
just drink it!** 

**(It's pointless to try making lemons).

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This is not an eclipse

of the eclipse.  No, no, Viewer Dear, the eclipse is the main focus!
A few weeks ago I happened to spot the paper glasses at the Lowe's store.
Great idea! I'll get some! I thought.

And I did.

The Little Actor, Tiny Actor and Itty-bitty Actor all attended my viewing event yesterday.  All of them acted enthused!

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime event!" the media had been proclaiming.

However, I'm informing you, Dear Reader, it's possible to see more than one solar eclipse in a lifetime!
Er, how do I know this view is correct?

The year could have been 1970.  A solar eclipse could have been expected to occur on March 7.  A college student in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia could have decided to join a few of her classmates and travel to a spot a few hours south where the "total" experience was expected to occur.  She could have gone, and it could have been a singularly fascinating and memorable experience for her!   She could have watched the sky go from full sunlight to dusk to darkness.  She could have heard the birds twittering their night songs in the trees.  She could  have seen all car traffic needing to utilize their headlights in the middle of the day.   (Best of all [in my opinion] Dear Reader, she could have heard a rooster crowing as the sunlight returned!])

Now, it follows, she'd be having a SECOND-in-a-lifetime view!*
 * You know it's true.

Monday, August 21, 2017

All That Jazz

Yesterday The Yard Man and I toted another picnic supper to the park.

And, yes, there was another concert at the park.

The music was of my least-favorite genre.
I just wasn't all that crazy about it.
I prefer other types of music.
(And not all that jazz.)

But, Reader Dear, summer is drawing to a close.
The insects are making more noise.
The light is making itself more scarce.
Students are going back to school.
Trees are beginning their sloughing-off period.
The outdoor concerts are going to be tapering off.

Sigh. Too bad.  Alas.
(And all that jazz)


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Creatures (Continued, Concluded)

We wrapped up THE DAY AT THE ANIMAL PARK by visiting reptilian creatures (Alas, no photos of snakes [due to camera malfunction (good or bad fortune, depending upon your idea of viewing enormous pythons and boas and...(slight shudder) more of those slithering serpents, Viewer Dear)].
And then we journeyed through a massive traffic jam (two hours' worth) due to a traffic accident (bad fortune) that did not include our vehicle or us (fabulously good fortune)!

Overall, The Yard Man and I had a marvelous day with the actors and Only Son and, well, all the other creatures to boot (wondrously good fortune, Reader Dear!)   

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Adventures with Creatures

"I've arranged for a day trip to Lake Tobias," The Yard Man informed me a few days ago.
"All but one of your little actors are coming along!"
What a guy!  What a trip!
Reader Dear, it's a man-made lake with lots of imported animals, picnic areas, and a "safari ride" through the animal park.

Here is a brief "ride" for you, Viewer Dear, if you care to take it.  (No traveling or waiting involved!)

Now us, you see, we had a forty-five minute drive to the spot.*

And, at the park, the  wait to pile onto an open wagon for the ride through woodlands and open meadows was nearly a half-hour long.  But then,  of course, seeing all the animals in such an up-close and personal way was exciting!

And the animals were very impressive!

Very impressive, indeed!

Following the ride, and a picnic lunch by the lake, the small actors spent an extended period of time on the pirate ship nearby.  They appeared to enjoy this impromptu stage, and their self-scripted acting roles, immensely!

However, there were still many animals to impress us!

Some of these species, Dear One, made me eye the fences warily,

and closely track those dear little "actor" creatures!*

  *All of us, Viewer Dear, survived!

(to be continued)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Standing Silently*

It was an impulsive decision (as decisions go), but one that I very ardently stand behind.  When I heard, yesterday,  about the Silent Protest to be held at the local office of Republican Congressional Representative, Lloyd Smucker,  I immediately determined that I would take part.

This politician endorses the current leader of the country.

Simply put, Reader Dear, I do not.

(Perhaps I should offer a bit more detail: I am disturbed by the current leader of our country.  Dare I say it? I am repulsed by his gross incompetency.  His extreme narcissism.  His various crude comments.  His utter disregard for those living in poverty in this country [or any country].  His dishonesty. His values.)

The four hours that I spent at the protest , holding signs and waving to supporters who passed by (as well as one driver shouting obscenities from his truck window) were four hours well spent!

I wasn't able to do much visiting, seeing as how it was a "silent" protest and everyone seemed to be whispering or mouthing words to each other if any communication was necessary.  However, I went ahead and loudly wished, "Happy Birthday!"  to the eleven-year-old in this photo when she informed me that it was a special day. 

(I wished a generally happy day to the sleeping baby and his mother, as well)

Late in the afternoon I was pleased to be joined by the Itty-Bitty Actor for a period of time.  Although he doesn't do a whole lot of standing up, I fully believe that when he gets the chance, he will stand up against hate and bigotry on his own.

*(Or at least semi-silently)

Obviously, Dear Reader, I cannot know the full impact of my participation in this small and silent protest.**
**I do know that it produced a tiny up-tick
in my outlook for the future!

Monday, August 14, 2017

It was a Black and White Weekend.

There were the vibrant colors of music (the Black jazz quartet, the White bluegrass band), friendship, and lovely weather.)  And there was the sadness of sorrowful news (the hatred expressed in Charlottesville, Virginia).

Friday evening: It's good to be early for a movie showing, just to be sure you get good seats.  The Yard Man and I agree on this, but never feel quite the same degree of compulsion to arrive early (and then, too, the definition of "early" can vary). Since I had gotten the six tickets for The Yard Man and myself and four of our friends to attend the Friday night movie, I wanted to make sure that "early" was, in fact,  early!.

Aha.  (We arrived to the option of choosing absolutely any seat in the theater!) Reader Dear, (I have to tell you), I laughed loudly with delight!

Saturday night:
Ice cream with toppings, topped by a super-charming evening of jazz!*

Listener Dear, I'll share the music.  You know (please say you do) that I would also make you a Taster Dear if ice cream could be shared across the miraculous internet waves!

And then:
Sunday lunch under a lovely sky, beside a fountain.

Plus our regular Sunday-evening concert at the park:  this clip featuring First Son-in-law, Small Actor, Tiny Actor and...
The Steel Wheels!**

Reader Dear, if not for the very sad news of hatred's triumph over love**,  the weekend would have been a multi-colored rainbow of black-and-white excellence!

*Featuring Delfeayo Marsalis on the trombone (son of Ellis, nephew of Winton) at Mount Gretna, PA!

**[From the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia***]

*** Virginia [my home state]: Capitol city: Richmond.  Also well-known: Charlottesville.
State slogan: "Virginia is for Lovers".

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Is there anyone of Baby Boomer age who is scratching his or her head and saying, "Arlo?"

I think not!     For sure and certain, I'm talking here about Arlo Guthrie! He performed at the park this past Sunday!  These free outdoor concerts at the park take place every Sunday evening, and The Yard Man and I always like to attend.  They've booked some really fine musicians over the summers, but seldom was there anyone with the stature and fame of Arlo!  (His daughter was there as well, and opened for him).  The crowd was massive!

Now, Listener Dear, if you've ever been to an Arlo concert, you know that this man is very fond of telling stories! I believe very nearly half of his total performance time was spent talking.  He talked about Woodstock (I'm calling all Baby Boomers to explain "Woodstock" to their offspring (who may have not a clue regarding this massive festival of "peace and music" held on a farm in Woodstock, New York, back in the late sixties.Arlo was one of the folk musicians who performed there.  Here's a clip describing his first day at Woodstock (This followed his description of being taken to the stage in a helicopter and viewing the 400,000-person crowd below!)

Keep in mind, in your description of the event (Dear Fellow Baby Boomer) the rampant use of marajuana-aka-weed in the late sixties [and, without a doubt, at Woodstock!])
Sunday night Arlo did play lots of his old songs, to be sure (and one of Bob Dylan's, too).

And here's one that his father, Woody Guthrie, wrote and sang way back in the 1940's. (One of my favorites of the evening).

Alas, non-Listener dear, my camera lost battery power before Arlo sang, "This Land is Your  Land....This land is my land, from California to the New York Island.  From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me."

Well, it's a tiny handful of highlights I've brought you.  I'm not even including the half-hour long, winding, detailed account of Alice's Restaurant (in which Arlo gets a fine for littering, because, out of the largeness of his heart, he and a friend want to help Alice get rid of her trash [turns out, the dump is closed on Thanksgiving Day!])  It's a fine story, Reader Dear, told as only Arlo can tell it.  You will have to make sure to see him next time he's in town!

The Yard Man and I enjoyed the after-show, as well--the view of hundreds of cars exiting the parking lot.  It was a long show, made special by the glorious full moon in the sky.  That moon was smiling directly down on us, yes, it was.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Here is a Riddle

for you, Reader Dear.  It's a product of my sludgy, simmering, insomniac brain:

"Horses, Houses, Hoises" (that last word is an archaic variation of hoists)
Take me, Dear Puzzler, in four steps,  to
"The Phillipines"*

*Apologies to anyone under the age of fifty (or not a Filipino)

Did you find this too easy?  Too difficult?  Too lame?**

**Now, now, Puzzler Dear, I never claimed to be Will Shortz!

Here is a night (last Friday, to be exact) when there were two loud episodes of noise and light to wake me: 
 I was surprised and pleased by both.  (It was pretty clear that the guy producing the second show has  a lot more resources and a much larger system with which to work!)


Viewer Dear, everything's peachy!  The Yard Man is crazy about fresh peaches.  He shows up with a bag or a box of the fuzzy fruit every few days during peach season.  We've got them ripening all over the kitchen!  He wants to eat  them with every meal and as a bedtime snack!

 Like I said, it's all peachy-keen until the season is ended and it's apple-picking time.

(The Yard Man's not nearly as fond of fresh apples.)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Crowd

formed a circle, and the organizer who had earlier instructed us to give him our full attention gave a short presentation speech.  This was prior to handing out chiming clocks to two of the persons who had donated their time and expertise to the Horse Progress Days event.

It was a nice gesture, but it didn't seem to warrant the strict injunction he'd given the group to be certain to pay attention!  After the clocks were presented, he had a few more words to say.  But nothing he said sounded all that significant.  He sounded, in fact, as though he were stalling for time.  He then asked if any of the other organizers wanted to say a few words.  The Yard Man usually has no trouble with this sort of thing, so he kept the crowd's attention for a while. As he was about to wrap up, there was the sound of a small plane overhead.

Everyone craned necks to watch as it approached the group below, and flew over.

Now, Viewer Dear, had you been there you may have been one to immediately guess what was ensuing, but I was slow to catch on.  This plane flying over was The Big Surprise!  


Because, you see, this plane flying over was full of surprises!
The pilot made three more passes, spilling candy on the crowd below each time.
The crowd shrieked and whooped and scrambled with every pass!

It was joyous to behold the joyous crowd!

We clapped and waved as the pilot flew off into the moonlit evening!

Later on there was a bonfire.

But the highlight of the evening for me, Viewer Dear, was the high-flying (well, low-flying)
 event (and I didn't even eat any candy)!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Here's a List:

1.  My Little Actor is an artist!  Not long ago he had a show at the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design in Lancaster, PA.  I dashed into the city at midday to take in the exhibit.  (And I've got a view of it for you,Viewer Dear!)

The Dung Beetle 

The Artist with his Flamingo painting

When I arrived at the PSAD, the doors had just opened. The place filled up fast with eager patrons! As it turned out, there were other artists also showing their work, but I didn't have much time, so concentrated my attention only on the Little Actor's art.
Papier Mache Dung Beetle

Another small semi-famous artist with fans

Undersea Composition

I was very impressed!  I would advise you, Viewer Dear, to get yourself some of his work while it's relatively unknown and accessible.

(As I was leaving the show, I assisted The Little Actor and several other artists who were eagerly searching for the cookie display [refreshments!])

2.  Cardio Fitness Re-hab:  It's still crowding my Mondays, my Wednesdays and my Fridays.  It's crowding my weeks!

I've made friends with the staff, however, and grown quite comfortable with the machines.

 It's going to be a real exercise in self-discipline for me when it comes time to put myself into action sans assistants and the apparatus!


3. I believe no comment is needed for this photo below.  If you believe otherwise, Viewer Dear, there would be no shame in telling me.


4.  A few days ago, The Yard Man told me that we were invited to a  post-Horse Progress Days celebratory picnic (the planners and all those who helped with the event were invited).  We went to the picnic yesterday with some friends of ours, Carl and Janet. (Carl helped at HPD on Day Two by transporting handicapped persons via a golf cart.  He kept at it  the whole entire day, not abandoning his job in spite of rain [in torrents] and high wind!)

Yesterday evening, when we got to the spot (the same location where HPD happened), there was a big tent in place, and a large crowd of Amish.  There were two long tables loaded with food.  Once again, I found it difficult to keep my camera stashed!

Just before a line formed for the meal there was an announcement that following the meal, around 8:00 p.m., everyone was to gather in the meadow.  The man in charge told us that it was very important that we all give him our full attention at that time!

The organizers had provided pulled pork and everyone else brought  sides or dessert for the meal.

But the line was long and the appetites hearty, and at the end of that line, the choice of sides was slim.   Reader Dear, it looked pretty certain, however, we would all get dessert!  

Well, then, as everyone finished eating, the young people started up volleyball games.  The rest of the crowd sat at the tables visiting.  The children played on the one piece of playground equipment that still remained from HPD.

(In tiny letters: To Be Continued)
Later, as the time neared 8:00 p.m., most everyone made their way to the open meadow where a circle was forming around the organizer who'd made his announcement earlier.

What important thing did he have to convey to us?! 

Reader Dear,  you know how sorry I am to keep you guessing......