Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Goodbye to Lewes

It's always difficult to say Goodbye

Goodbye to good times at the beach!

Goodbye to finding treasures at the beach!

Goodbye to the historic little town.

Goodbye to walks in the historic little town.
Goodbye to (the surprise of) new toys from the sidewalk sales in the historic little town!

Goodbye to Cape Henlopen State Park (nearby to the historic little town)!


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

He was right there,

walking slowly through the water, searching for treasure while I watched from the ocean shore at Lewes,  Delaware.


I was fascinated, Reader Dear!  I was so curious that I went out into the water to ask questions of this treasure-seeker!

He was using an under-water metal detector.  I asked him what he had just found (It was a quarter). I asked him how long he had pursued this hobby (He's been doing it about a dozen years, he said). I asked him what was the most valuable thing he had ever discovered (It was a pendant with an emerald [His son wears it now, he told me]).

I returned to the shore and watched this explorer and contemplated how all of life is a big treasure-seeking endeavor.

I determined, Dear One, that the next time I am at the ocean, I will have one of these  specific kind of treasure-seeking devices in my hand*!

Stay tuned!
*I'm thinking of all those lockets and pendants and  coins that went down with the Titanic.  Think how they shift around on the ocean floor, Reader Dear!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Prior to my trip to Lewes,

I made a trip to the thrift store.  It's a frequent activity of mine, hauling odds and ends to this place that welcomes the "stuff" that no longer feels welcome in my possession.  It's odd, Reader Dear, how I never seem to run out of this "stuff".
After I had carried my filled bags and boxes into the donation area, I parked my car and walked around to the front entrance of the store.

Now, I usually preach myself a little sermon when I drop things off at the store, and today was no exception.  "Dropping things off is only half the equation, you know," I told myself.  "This place would not be able to function if persons only donated and no one ever went into the store to shop. Go on in!  It won't hurt to look around.  If you find anything to buy, you can keep this loop of donations going."

During this particular trip that I'm telling you about, Dear Reader, it wasn't until I had perused most of the store before something caught my eye.  It was in the far back of the store--the toy section-- that I saw it:  a big see-through zippered bag filled with brightly-colored plastic balls.  So many balls!  I was attracted by the sheer quantity. The price tag said four dollars.
The price was right!
The timing was right!
I walked out of that store with eighty-nine brightly-colored plastic balls*!

My plan was to carry these balls along to Lewes and surprise all my little actors with them.
I'll just tell you right away, Dear Reader, the plan was a good one.
It was a success!

It's hard to say who had the most fun--me doing the presentation, or all the small ones scooping up the balls rolling everywhere and sending them flying around the room.

The following morning, the actors and I re-did the scene for filming.  However, the element of surprise was missing.  Please understand, Viewer Dear, though my actors are terrific at what they do, the glee and delight of that very first dumping of the balls was too difficult to re-create.  In the original, there were lots of shouts of surprise and exultation, missing from this short show. You'll have to use your imagination.


*Counted after purchase.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Historical Month

 of October, 2018.
 It's a fact, Reader Dear, that now the month is history, and will remain so forever . 

Starting October off was a bonfire, because every year when the weather turns chilly, The Yard Man turns to planning one of these conflagrations.  He likes the well-rounded food: hotdogs and hamburgers, with marshmallows for dessert.  And he always likes building a big fire in the meadow and adding logs.

Just days later, we took a delightful trip back to Lewes, Delaware.  It's where there's a bay and an ocean, if you will recall.  We stayed in a different rental house this year, but it's the same spot where The Yard Man and I took all of our offspring exactly a year ago. Once again, we had five days of frolicking fun.

Fortunately, we had weather that felt like summer, which is just what one would order to go with water and beaches and sidewalk sales and an arts-and-crafts fair and bicycling and a hiking trail and a big playground and a nearby ice cream barn. 

Columbus Day weekend arrived soon after we did; there was a lot going on!

There was the birthday pie.
There were the birthday candles that kept re-lighting.

There were all those hours at the water.  The aquatic museum.  The toy store in town that was running a terrific sidewalk sale.

 There was that treasure hunter I spied in the water!*
There was the ball we had with the balls!*
(Detailed explanation to follow, Reader Dear*)

*To be continued...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

If You're Fortunate Enough to Have Sisters.

I've got two of them, Dear Reader.   One is older.  One is younger.  During the last few days of October, we did something we have never done before in our whole entire lives of being sisters!  

We took a trip together, and we spent three days together sans other family members.  (Well, to be honest, we did spend a morning with one of our two brothers.  But it was brief, the time we spent with him.)  Most of the time, it was just us, strolling around Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

We ate meals at the fanciest place in town:  The Williamsburg Inn.  And we stayed at a very nice bed-and-breakfast.

Now, Williamsburg is a spot that we visited many times in our growing-up years.  (We lived nearby).  But, naturally, we didn't spend any time overnight there, previous to this trip.

Due to the weather (fabulous!)
And the short time with our brother (the one who could join us briefly)!
And the chance to be together (we all live in different states)!
And the historic spot ("historic" being interpreted in more ways than one)!
And  the viewing of all the home movies from our childhood years (which elder sister had updated with technology [put them all on a DVD, for ease of viewing])!
And the delightful food and wine (food spots that we knew from our historical association with this place)!
It was a very pleasing three days (five,  if you count the coming and going)!


The home movies, shown via large screen, in the breakfast room for all guests to enjoy!

If you've got sisters (or brothers, as the case may be), I highly recommend such an endeavor to you, Reader Dear!  I can't guarantee it will go as smoothly as this trip of mine, but it's worth the gamble (I'd say)!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Want to Hear the Good, the Bad,

or the Ugly, Reader Dear?

I've always referred to my job of landlording as a "study in human behavior".  While the study, at times, is daunting (sometimes to the point where I must question my sanity in continuing on) one thing the study never yields is boredom.

Last week when I visited each tenant's door to offer them information on a local political candidate that I felt would be the very best person to elect to represent our state, I was startled by the Grim Reaper who popped up to greet me at door number sixty-seven!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Stamped Out!

At the local post office, where I pick up the rent checks from my reliable and responsible tenants, and where I ship out my minor works of art,  a new postmaster was installed.

I was sorry to see the old postmaster go.  Over the decades, we had become friends.   I knew I would miss our chats.  Then, too, he long ago learned to know the  tenant of mine who always brings his rent checks into the post office in person.  My tenant arrives with an unaddressed envelope; he hands it across the counter and asks that it be put in my box.

The postmaster knew, too, that I am always interested in the latest designs arriving from the United States Postal Service.  He knew my affinity for always using stamps rather than postal strips, no matter the number of stamps needed.  He often informed me of new stamps he thought I would appreciate.  And it was he who, a few years ago, told me that stamps could be affixed to any spot on the top of a box.

"You mean I can put them down here?!" I responded with incredulity, pointing to the lower edge of the package.  "And here?!!" gesturing to the left side of the address label.

When he assured me that, indeed, I could make any kind of design I wished, could place the stamps wherever I pleased, I was pleased as punch, Reader Dear!

Thus, for years I've been bringing my birthday, Christmas, and valentine packages to the postmaster, having him weigh them and tell me the postage needed, then returning later with the stamp-covered parcels to mail out.

The new postmaster is a postmistress, if one wishes to call her such.  Sharon is friendly and accommodating, and she always totes up the stamps in a pleasant manner.   She doesn't openly admire my artwork as the old postmaster did, but neither has she ever disallowed it.

Now, this:
Last week I had a birthday box to decorate and send to a sister of mine in southern Virginia.  I took it to the post office.  Sharon weighed it for me and gave me the total stamp value required.  

I had already wrapped the box in a city map. It was such a pretty shade of green.  I chose stamps in shades of orange and green.

It was close to closing time when I brought the parcel back to the post office to send it out.  Sharon was no longer at the window; another woman was there.  I've seen her in the post office occasionally, filling in for Sharon.  Or supervising, perhaps.  

She looked at my package and frowned.  

"Sharon weighed it for me earlier," I explained.  "I've got seven-seventy-nine on there."  

 I had jotted a list of  the stamps, Reader Dear (I know that whoever she is, she's your employee, too, if you live in the USA and pay taxes).  I like to treat my employees well, and I started to show her the list:  Five standard 50-cent forever stamps. One stamp worth $1.15  (the lovely green succulent).  Two 37s and a 39.

"Oh, no, no,"  she cut me short.  "We can't have this!" She waved her hand at my carefully-placed stamps.  "These all need to be in the upper right-hand corner!  They are required to be right here!" she reiterated, and placed her hands emphatically around the upper right quadrant of the box top.  Reader Dear, I was being scolded for my artwork, much like a small child who has crayoned a masterpiece on the bedroom wall!

"But., but...the previous postmaster told me they could be anywhere on the top," I said indignantly.  "I've been doing this for years!" 

Undaunted, she insisted that it was the rule.   There was just no way I could be allowed to scatter stamps helter-skelter all over the top of an outgoing USPS parcel!  

Only a little less vehemently, I insisted that I'd been given instructions to the contrary.

Then the woman told me, "They are likely to throw this package out as suspicious."

"Are you serious?!" I asked, truly curious.

"Yes," she responded.  "All these stamps!  It could have been mailed by a terrorist."

Dear Reader,  I think I may have giggled a little nervously.     

"Four love stamps, and...and popsicles, for heaven's sake.  A terrorist?!"  I exclaimed.   
 (I got serious quickly, however.  I did not wish to be handcuffed).

"Well, and this shouldn't be wrapped in printed paper, either," she grumbled.   She did, however, start adding up my stamps.  She disregarded my written list.
Ultimately, Reader Dear, she grudgingly mailed out the package as designed.
In the process, she may have stamped her foot just hard enough to stamp out my practice of stamping all my parcels.*

* I stamped out of that place, pondering what's to be done with my colossal collection of vintage postage stamps.  Going forward, Dear One, keep your eyes open for the plain brown wrapper and the postal strip!

Monday, September 24, 2018


The other week I was part of a major project involving ten bushels of apples.
I helped to get them thoroughly sauced!

A very generous soul (a friend of mine) donated the apples from his orchard of apple trees. He gave them to the church (of which his mother is a member) to be made into applesauce, and given to another local church that serves free community meals to the hungry.   I'm also a member of this church, so I decided to join in on this endeavor of turning the apples into applesauce.

We were told that the project would likely start as early as seven-thirty in the morning (aargh!).  I'll confess to you, Reader Dear, that I had to rush just to get there by nine-thirty. Though I contemplated stopping for a box of doughnuts en route to the church (thinking perhaps a dozen doughnuts would do) I decided I shouldn't add to my degree of lateness.

When I pulled into the church parking lot, I was amazed at the number of cars!  (A dozen doughnuts would most definitely not have sufficed!)  On my way into the building, I passed Steve, setting up a gas burner to handle one more pot full of apples.  Happily, the large cooking pot I had brought along was needed, and it was my pot that was set atop that burner.

Meanwhile, the kitchen of the church and all the rooms surrounding it were a beehive of activity! I joined right in with the cutting up of the apples.  Also happening was the washing of apples, the cooking of apples (involved much stirring of pots), the processing of apples by various methods (cranking, grinding) and the filling of jars and buckets.

 It was a thoroughly enjoyable endeavor, thoroughly saucing those apples!  There were many varieties, and I sampled one or two.  The one pictured here, I believe, is Molly's Darling.  (Viewer Dear, I could be quite wrong.  It may be Molly's Honey, or perhaps Molly's Sweetness or Molly's Sugarplum.  It may not be Molly's apple at all; few folks at this saucing were able to introduce me to the apples in a proper manner.)

The main group of saucers spent six hours working at this project.  The outcome:
One hundred and seventy quarts!

Each person volunteering was offered a quart of applesauce to carry home.

Plus, I carried away two large tubs of the leavings.

"Looking at it from an equine perspective," I suggested, "this rubbish will be a marvelous treat!"

The Yard Man's horses are not accustomed to getting dessert with their meals; they were a bit tentative at first, he reported, but then they expressed their pleasure by eating enthusiastically. They got one tray the first evening and another the next evening.  By the third evening, they were getting accustomed to having dessert with every meal.  The questioning looks on their faces nearly broke his heart, the Yard Man reported.*

*I'm veering into fiction**

**And, no, I am not sauced, Reader Dear,
just horsing around with this tale of apples, sauced!



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Here Piggy, Piggy

My friend of pig roast fame issued me and the Yard Man an invitatation once again to attend his marvelous porcine event.   Gerry's 37th Annual Pig Roast.

When the bell rang, signifying that that piggy was at the ready,  Gerry's friends flocked to the tables.  Beyond the piggy-filled roaster were all the side dishes carried in by us guests.

There was a steady rain falling as the food lines formed,
and most other years Gerry's pig roasts happened to fall on sunny days (which made eating the plates of food a whole lot easier [because the picnic tables were dry]). However,  I'm sure everyone else, like me, read the slogan on that cake and laughed, then dropped the first word and the last.

Thanks, Gerry!  Pig Roast Great!


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Considering the Fact

that it was Labor Day we were celebrating, you might have been surprised, Reader Dear, at all the playing that went on in the yard of the Yard Man and me.  There was a minimum of labor.

The ferociously hot day made the slip-and-slide a terrific hit with the small actors.

And then, too, there was the toss-the-bean-bag-into-the-hole game that the Yard Man had newly procured and set up in the yard.

Of course, what's a holiday without food?!  We did some eating.

Happily, the eating included a birthday cake, which the small actors helped to decorate and deliver (a bit precariously) to the picnic table, to set before that Yard Man.

Here's where the photos end, Viewer Dear,
due to the malfunctioning of various pieces
of my technological equipment.

Also, due to the malfunctioning of the person
handling the equipment at the time (evidenced by the following,
which that unnamed  person has decided must now be shown. As an example, you must understand, Viewer Dear.  And to enhance the following Public Service Announcement:
All photographers using a phone in camera mode, be aware of the SLO-MO setting* and the ease with which it can be utilized without intent!

**All speaking is translated into long, slow, unintelligible growls;  the warping of the sounds of happy singing is a travesty! (SIGH)

However, out of Labor Day we made a glorious Play Day!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

You May Not Give a Fig,

Dear Reader, but my fortune has recently taken an unexpected upturn in the form of figs--fabulous, fresh figs!!  They were plucked from the fig bushes this very morning by the person gifting me with them, and delivered from Virginia to my Pennsylvania door this very afternoon.

It was Elder Brother of Mine who stopped by late this afternoon, en route from delivering a niece of mine to college.  I knew that he was coming, and I knew that he would be spending the night.  The figs, however, were a grand surprise!

Elder Brother grows these figs, and he brought six varieties.  Most, he said, were at their peak of ripeness.

I swooned!

Reader Dear, I fell upon those figs like a greedy child with candy, and I ate them with a passion.

I do like fresh* figs!

*If you've never eaten one, this should be on your bucket list: Find a fig straight off the bush.  Handle it gently, feeling its lovely tumescent body.  Bite into it.  Admire its beautiful interior.  Savor the succulent sweetness.  Consume it.**
**You'll dance with glee!


Friday, August 31, 2018

And Here He Is

My Itty-Bitty Actor,
recorded live:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

from My Favorite Things,
The Sound of Music


And, Viewer Dear, here he is in a rare bath-time performance of El Condor Pasa,
the Simon and Garfunkel song.

I'd rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes I would
If I only could
(If )  I surely would.

That's it!


Monday, August 27, 2018

Musical Catch-up!

I've been getting my usual musical highs for the past several weeks, but neglecting to share with you, Listener Dear. 

These two Sunday evening concert performances that I'll show you were so different from each other in some ways--note how the audiences did not behave in a similar manner, though both groups were quite appreciative (based on applause).  The instrumentalists had similar instruments, however, and all played enthusiastically.

First, I've got: Black Violins.

These musicians were playing at the wide-open park where the Yard Man and I typically spend our Sunday summer evenings.  There was a steady rain falling when the concert was scheduled to begin, and we surmised it had shrunk the crowd.  Even so, there was a sea of umbrellas.

And then, voila, as the violin notes began to rain on us, the raindrops ceased their reign!

I gushed to The Yard Man all the way home.
"Wow, that genre-crossing thing is so creative!"

Next, I've got:  TENET and the Sebastians
This concert was under a roof, required a pricey ticket,  and involved far more staid performers, not to mention prim and proper audience members. Nevertheless, I was gushing all the way home from this concert, as well!  My favorite--Baroque! Authentic instruments!  So glad our good friends nudged us!  (Well, Reader Dear, they told us about the concert; then they said, "We live so close to Mt. Gretna*, just come to our house and we'll go together.")
*It's a half-hour trip for the Yard Man and myself to this small, artsy venue in the woods.**
**A chautauqua.***
***Look it up, Curious One.

Okay. Listener Dear, I've got one more musical rendition that has demanded a showing.
It's a totally different genre.  A totally different style of performance.  A totally different kind of performerThis performance, recently recorded, is in such a class by itself that I've decided  it will have to wait for a blog-post spot of its own.

(i.e. The End)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Corn and Cuteness

And a chicken, too, Viewer Dear!


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Forgive Me, Reader Dear


The Yard Man pulled ears off the stalks of corn that he grew.  He husked them and threw them in a box for me.

I cooked the ears and we ate right off the cob as much as we could hold.  The excess, I blanched (a brief scalding) and cut off the cobs, put into bags, and froze.

 Reader Dear, it's like yellow gold in the freezer!  There's roughly enough for a one-bag withdrawal per week until we see another full moon of late summer and another few rows of corn standing rustling and ready in tassels and full ears.