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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Here-Comes-Autumn Scene

  • Today I was running an errand and pulled off the road somewhat unexpectedly.  What happened was that I approached this small roadside market area and the scene, I felt, called for a commemorative shot.  This is a great scene to advertise fall! I thought.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

End Times

A department store that has maintained a spot in the local mall for the mall's entire existence (in excess of forty years) is now closing its doors.

The store is going out of business, selling out to the bare walls.
Fixtures, shelving, display cases and clothing racks are for sale.  In addition, they've got a small throng of fake humans that are ready to be carted away for a price.

To be honest, Dear Reader, it's a little creepy.

It was the other day, when I was in the store perusing the final merchandise, that I came across these fake humans.  I was carrying on a slightly one-sided conversation with them when a real-and-actual woman approached.  She needed some assistance in transporting one of the handicapped females (legless, headless) to the sales counter across the store.  I helped the actual female by transporting the arms of the fake female.

Consequently, the woman who was breathing and smiling vowed to name the breathless, unsmiling  one  after me*.

*(Small confession: I requested it)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Spice of Life

is VARIETY (just to vary the expression [by reversal], Reader Dear).  I had a delightfully multi-cultural day this past Sunday.  It was filled with food  and music other than that which I normally consume and hear.  

The tale is simple:  The Yard Man and I ate with friends at a restaurant serving Burmese and Thai food.   Our host (the restaurant owner) is Burmese and was very friendly and happy to see us.  His wife, he explained, is the chef.  The food was out-of-this-world (or, at the very least, out-of-this-country!)

Win (the owner, phonetic spelling only) very handily packaged up all the leftovers from the generous meals he served us, and encouraged us vigorously to come back another time!  (We just as enthusiastically vowed that we would!)

In the evening, at our usual concert-in-the-park event, The Yard Man and I enjoyed Cuban music!

When The Yard Man walked down to the stage and observed for a while, he was impressed with the action. "It's a completely different experience down there than it is way back here!" he told me, when he'd returned to our lawn chairs.

So, naturally, I determined that I would have a completely different experience myself.  I decided, however, to delay the experience until the sun went down.  I wanted to fling my body around any old way I pleased (under cover of darkness.  [If you, Dear One, are less inhibited than I, you may give yourself a good old pat on your back*! ])

*That's right, an enthusiastically hearty thump, square in the middle
of your back, please.

It was a warm evening, and it was clear the musicians were giving their all to the performance!

Habia variedad en el spoken (sung)
word, as well, Listener Dear.

It was all delightfully picante!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Flow of Topping

So, yes, Dear Reader, this will be the final one in a series of posts containing "flow" in the title.  (I'm assuming my life will flow on [and possibly the blog posts], but I'm getting downright tired of the word.)

Do you recall how the cake  toppings were trundled out to the car amid the hustle and bustle of leaving the cabin in the Poconos, after a full day of eating, drinking, and spending time with family at the lake and the cabin?  Well, the trip home for The Yard Man, Only Son, Small Actor and myself was uneventful.  We arrived home very late at night and Only Son and Small Actor spent one more night here at the home of The Yard Man and me rather than head to their own home at such an advanced hour.
In the morning, when retrieving his carry-alongs from my car, Only Son discovered that, alas, the Strawberry topping bottle (that one that the little chef used to make his dessert) had toppled over and spread itself insidiously over the back storage area of my car!  "Do you have baking soda?" he asked me.  "I can try to clean it up."

Now, Reader Dear, it so happens that I've got someone I depend on to work miracles on the carpets at my sometimes-not-so-scrupulously-cared-for apartments.  A little light bulb popped on in my head when I looked at that topping flow.  "I think I'm going to need a more advanced procedure," I told my son. 

Now, jump ahead by a few hours, Dear Reader.

A Miracle!
"Jerry will be back about two o'clock," the woman on the phone had told me when I called.  "You can come then, and he can take a look at it."

It was a blistering hot day.  Generally, Jerry does not have drive-in customers (I'm surmising).  

"You can go sit in the office where it's air-conditioned," he told me.  "This shouldn't take me more than about twenty minutes."

Jerry worked for a half-hour in the blistering heat, while I chatted with his friendly step-daughter in the small inside office where a window unit was churning out cold air.

Viewer Dear, just look what he did!

The Miracle Worker!

"I'm going to do some advertising!" I told Jerry*


*In addition to the miracles, he's a really nice guy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Overflow, Flowing On

I'm sharing with you, Reader Dear, the rest of the story of the day in the Poconos. 

I was excited to share the day itself (very briefly) with two dear deer (sorry, I cannot resist the phonetic double; I have no idea how dear the deer).  I do know, Dear Reader, that my sister-in-law (who was driving the van) was a dear when she stopped the van beside the road to let me film this twenty-second wildlife documentary. 

I spotted the fawn (no pun intended*) while we were on the short trip from the cabin to the lake.

As previously mentioned, rain began to fall at the very time my sister-in-law pulled the van into the parking lot at the lake.  (Likewise, previously mentioned) I huddled under an umbrella with other family members, hoping for an early end to the sky water.  Other members were already out in the lake water, and they continued to play.  It was this action that prompted the following small drama:

It was the lifeguard who trotted out to the lake to deliver a message to my Itty-Bitty Actor and his father.  Are you curious, Viewer Dear, as were all of us out-of-earshot kin, clamoring to know the problem?

(No humans who have not been potty-trained are allowed in the lake!  "We're getting too much fecal matter in the water," the lifeguard explained to family members scrunched  under her life-guarding-chair umbrella.)

Itty-Bitty Actor tried not to take it as an insult**

Happily, after several rain showers, the sun shone over the lake for the remainder of the afternoon.  Then ensued  swimming, splashing, boat riding, raft-riding, paddle-boarding, and I got to have some chat time with Jack (it had been quite a while***!)


Back at the cabin, later in the day, Small Actor and Tiny Actor were having a grand time breaking world records in Small Stream Navigation (small stream more aptly termed Large Stream, due to...[all together now]... Overflow!

By now, it was time for supper.
A veritable feast!

My Itty-Bitty Actor was very fond of the corn-on-the-cob. He ate all the corn he could hold (while someone else held the cob) .

And, the grand finale:  Dessert!
Sure enough, true to his word, my Small Actor set to work and played the part of a chef!

Banana Cake a la Strawberry Topping
Chocolate Chip Cake a la Caramel Topping


That dessert put the topping on the evening.
It was getting late.
Only Son, Yard Man and I quickly trundled lawn chairs and leftover dessert ingredients out to the car.  It was time for us to bid the others (who were spending  the night) adieu and head for home. 


*I take it back.
The pun was intentional.

**My interpretation of what I think he tried to tell me.

***I think I heard Jack exclaim
"It's been about a lifetime since we chatted!"

Monday, August 6, 2018


Was it not I who was rhapsodizing about the rain only a week ago?!
Reader Dear, as we all know, April showers may lead to May flowers.
I'm here to add:  August showers can lead to some august overflow!

The Yard Man and I, with Only Son and my Small Actor in tow (they were riding in the car with us, no trucks or cables involved) set out on a (most-recent) Saturday morning to drive to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania (a relatively small town in the Poconos).  We were headed for a cabin in the mountains where some of The Yard Man's extended family were enjoying time together.  But before we headed up the country, The Yard Man headed the car downhill.

We gasped.


A small group of neighbors was gathered at the edge of an impromptu river running widely across the road! Where normally we see an open meadow and the road descending in a slow curve that takes us to our covered bridge, we now saw only swift-flowing water.  (Much more water than we normally see when the creek floods!) 

"You should have been here earlier!" the neighbors exclaimed.  "The people staying in that little house by the creek had to be rescued with pontoon boats!  Their car is completely under water!" 

We had to ooh and aah a while, of course.  But then we headed north.  
Listener Dear, I'll let my Small Actor give his explanation.  (He pleaded for the chance to do so, to be sole cameraman and narrator.)

"You're really going to make dessert for all of us?!" I asked him, the news being news to me.
"Yes!" he responded.  "Yes, I'm going to make dessert for twenty-five people!  But it's a surprise.  I can't tell you what it will be."
It was a pleasant hour-and-a-half trip, the weather sunny, the fields lush with corn, the small streams swollen.  About a half-hour along, The Yard Man suddenly braked the car.  "Did you see that?!" he exclaimed excitedly.  "You've got to see that!  I'm going to go back and show you!"

"What was it?!" Only Son and I asked.  Whatever it was, we must not have spotted it.  The Yard Man seemed pretty pumped.

"It was a geyser!" he said.    "A little geyser is coming right up out of the pavement! I have NEVER seen anything like it's right in the middle of the road!" 
He had turned the car around and we drove slowly past the spot where the water was gushing up into the air.  The geyser was only a few inches high, but it was impressive for its location, and the fact that none of us had ever seen this phenomenon before.  We had to gush about it for a while, as we reversed our direction once again, drove slowly over the geyser a second time, and then continued on our way.

Our next exciting event was arriving at the cabin, where we found two different species of family members relaxing (calm down, Dear Reader, I'm just talking about the hominoids and the canines, all of them part of the family).

Later there was a long-drawn-out lunch, as family members trickled in from various locations.

 After a while, some of us set out for the winery.*  It is a little distance to travel (I believe about a half-hour. There's so much talking going on; the time passes swiftly) but worth the trip.  There's the wine-tasting and the wine more-than-tasting. There's the viewing of lovely fields full of sun-drenched grapevines!

*It's grown to be legendary, this winery.  Some members of the family have been visiting more frequently than others; now, they (we) never leave the Poconos without a trip to the winery!                                         

After the winery, we spent time at the lake (there's a nearby lake).  The sun was shining brightly right up until the carload that I was a part of pulled into the parking lot at the lake.
That was the cue, I believe, for the afternoon rain to begin.*
*I sang no praises. 

There was time spent huddled together under a big umbrella (those of us opposed to standing openly in pouring rain), and discussing, intermittently,  whether to give up and go back to the cabin.  But, ultimately, the sun emerged victorious!

More to come...