Friday, September 15, 2017


This post was inspried from a post by Cranky Old Man about watching movies backwards.  I have no memory of watching a movie backward but the post, as so often is the case, was quite amusing.  However, what caught my attention was the use of the expression "back in the day."

My ten-year-old grandson uses that expression.  Grandma, did you have television back in the day?
Oh, yes, I knew of televisions of a primitive sort.  We had one. One! And my parents (but mostly my father when he was home) had total control over it.  There were cartoons on Saturday morning and Captain Kangaroo on week day mornings but certainly no channels dedicated to kids' viewing 24/7.  The picture was only in black and white.  Programming went off the air for the night.  The horror!

Grandma, what video games did you play back in the day? Oh, the inhumanity!  There were no video games, no hand-held devices or computers.  The one phone in the house was connected to the wall and was used sparingly to talk with someone and with respect for the others on the party line (beyond imagination).  Games were played on boards on the table or outside.

Grandma, what did you do all summer back in the day?  I woke up, had breakfast, and went outside to play.  If I got hungry or hurt I went inside and my mother would give me lunch or put a bandaid on me and send me back outside.  Otherwise I was free until called for supper.  I met up with friends and we played kick the can or Red Rover.  We played cowboys or soldiers if there were boys around or we played with dolls.  We rode bicycles.  We went in the woods and threw rocks in the brook.  We climbed trees.  On rainy days, I might go to a friend's house to play, but mostly I stayed in my room and read so my mother wouldn't hand me a broom or a dust rag.  Beyond comprehension -- You saw your friends everyday? Without a play date?

He can keep up a steady stream of questions.  That coupled with the expression "back in the day" can become very annoying.  (Once he told me my amygdala was becoming excited, but that's a whole different Dane story.)

Sometimes I take Dane to Al's French Fries.  His comment, very apt and I don't believe he has ever seen that Youtube video and which he makes with a kind of nostalgic sigh: I love this place.  I think it must be exactly like things were back in the day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In the Wake of Irma

If you have a place in a popular vacation spot you can pretty much count on visitors coming to call.
As we all know, some visitors are far more congenial than others.  Some visitors are the type you can't wait to be rid of -- some visitors like Hurricane Irma.

At first it looked as though Irma would head up the center of the Florida peninsula.  Then it shifted to a path along the west coast and my concern for property escalated.  I watched the Venice weather -- mandatory evacuation of the island part, hurricane warning/watch, storm surge warning, flash flood warning, and, to top things off like a cherry on this disaster sundae, a tornado warning.   Water was shut off in Venice due to a broken main.  In the end, Irma downgraded and wobbled, leaving external damage but structures mostly intact.

My bougainvillea was damaged.  That thing is more or less a weed.  It has an ardent will to survive and no doubt will thrive once again.  The frangipani was uprooted.  I am not sure whether it is salvageable or not.  It is beautiful in full bloom, when I am not there to enjoy it.  Through the winter months it looks like a strange leafless shrub that Dr. Seuss might have drawn.  I am not entirely sure I want to salvage it.

I have yet to hear about anything inside related to the leak in the roof.  I will make a trip down to deal with that once hurricane season has settled down.  I surely hope it will soon!

Some pictures from the news:

Fishing pier at Sharky's showing how the gulf waters were sucked back out by the force of hurricane winds, preparation for the surge.  This is four miles from my place.  Surge was less than was predicted at first.

 A tree down in Venice, FL.   Not in my yard though.

Looks like palm trees just decided to take a nap in Sarasota!

Friday, September 8, 2017

More Something

It seems certain that Irma will hit Florida and travel up the center of the state.  Florida is a peninsula.  The damage is likely to affect both coasts.

My roof is not fixed yet.  It's not going to be fixed before the winds and rains come.  I can only be grateful I am not there and hope for the best.

I was seeing the traffic jamb as people were evacuating.  There are always those who refuse to evacuate.  I am thinking about those who are on island countries.  They can't just jump in cars and leave.  Scary stuff.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Always Something

Sure, sometimes a little rain is a welcome thing but I'm thinking a lot of people are not singing about the rain that Harvey dumped.

I understand that parts of Florida are getting some residual rain from those stubborn bands swirling near the Gulf of Mexico.  So I have to confess that my heart did do a flipping kind of dropping kind of bounce when the phone rang and I recognized the name on caller ID.  It was the woman who does a walk through my Florida place on a regular basis.  She sent me a picture of a water stain on the ceiling in the laundry.  It must have been from the weekend.

So I probably didn't sound to happy when I said hello, but I am so glad I have someone who can keep an eye on things for me.  She recommended a roofing company.  I called and they inspected and will do the job soon.  It will be a big expense.  Florida weather is not kind to manmade structures.  It is windy, the sun beats done (it's 91 degrees there today, "feels like 106") and then it rains.  What can I do but have a new roof put on?

I was thinking about a new car, but the old one still runs.  Priorities -- needs over wants.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Signs of Fall

It was a beautiful day here -- plus sky, temps in the 70's with no humidity.  I went for a walk and wondered why one part of the country could be so genial while another could be in the midst of such devastation.  I am wondering how much rain is falling on my place in Florida.  I have heard there has been some minor (relatively speaking) flooding there.

But the beauty of the day distracted me as I took my walk.  I was noticing signs of the end of summer, the approaching of autumn.
Leaves changing colors

Milkweed pods

Roadside wild flowers

And some colorful garden flowers

Apples scenting the air.

And a message to remind us that summer is indeed fleeting:

Thursday, August 24, 2017


I did send notice to blogger and the problem of inappropriate items flooding my reading list seems to have been resolved.

One comment mentioned an Instagram account being the source of a similar problem.  I don't have Instagram.  But I do wonder about Google +.  That is an account that I don't even know how it even appeared and I consider it a possible source of the hacking.  I don't use it although I understand my posts show up there and I often get an e-mail notice about a very odd assortment of people following me (with two first names, two last names, mixed up names like Smith John, and mostly wearing military uniforms.  I suspect the names and pictures come from hacked accounts.)


Not loving the news about Harvey the Hurricane bearing down on Texas from the Gulf of Mexico.


I watched the movie Moonlight last night.  This is the movie that actually won an Oscar -- after it was announced that La La Land had won.  I have not seen La La Land, but I can say that, in my opinion, Moonlight certainly deserved the award.  It was a rough subject, but done both tenderly and artistically.  Perhaps not for everyone, but I thought it was an excellent movie.


A Massachusetts hospital worker won big in the Lottery -- 700+ million.  I can't even imagine.
She said she was going to go to bed and not get up for work in the morning.  I suspect she will buy a lot of gum (she was visibly chomping gum when I saw her on the news). I really can't imagine . . . maybe that is why I have never in my life bought myself a lottery ticket.


Local news: five special educators from the Burlington school district submitted resignations last night.  Teacher in-service starts tomorrow and students are in class next Wednesday.  These teachers work with students with the most challenging behavior problems and administrative support for the programs was cut in half.  Protest or self preservation?  I was a special educator for 33 years and all I know is that it was not getting any easier as time went on.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


I had a problem with blogger.  My new posts stopped showing up in followers' reading lists.  It took months to straighten this out and I slowly started using the account again.

Now, even worse, my own reader list is filled with blogs from sites I do not follow.  I have not opened  any of the unknown sites but they small previews either don't make any sense or are about viagra.  Seriously annoying.

Does anyone know how to get real help?  I am tearing my hair out.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


The moose population in Vermont is being decimated.  The reason -- my nightmare: the tick.  Well, lots of blood sucking ticks actually.  Moose have been found with tens of thousands of ticks on them.
Tens of thousands!

How icky:

I had a couple of my friends over for lunch today,  The brought me this:

I am hoping I never have to use it, but I fear that will not be the case.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Relaxing Week

I am home from my stay at the pond in southern New Hampshire.  I had a really great time.

It was a very relaxing five days with my friend.  We met quite a few years ago on a trip to St. Martin.
She and her husband were middle school teachers and her husband and mine had many interests in common.  We had many good times as couples.  Now we are both widows having good times together, tinged with some nostalgia.

We walked around the pond, avoiding ticks.  We kayaked in the pond.  We drove to Peterborough Playhouse to see "The Producers" (which was absolutely spectacular, maybe the best summer stock theater production I have ever seen).  We played games and read.  We ate and drank a little wine.
We binged on "Land Girls." a Netflix series I can recommend.  And we talked and laughed and talked some more.

I didn't take my computer and I had no cell reception and the time flew by.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Off for a Visit

I am packed and ready to go visit my friend Diane.  She has a home on a small pond in southern New Hampshire.  We arranged this visit when Diane was visiting me in Florida and I have been looking forward to it . . . Until I had Lyme disease.

I am still looking forward to seeing my friend of course.  But she lives in the woods and we have always hiked there.  Now I have images of ticks lurking on all vegetation.

We shall see.  Will neuroticism take over and strand me in the cabin for the week?  Will I be braver than that?  Will any lingering effects (Although I feel fine now.) prevent me from keeping up with my most energetic friend?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Baby Boom

There has been a bit of a baby boom.  My nephew and his wife had a baby girl in July.  Mike's oldest grandson and his wife had a baby boy.

This prompted me to get out knitting needles and yarn to make booties and baby hats.

I also started working on a crib quilt.  The fun part is done, now on to sandwiching and quilting.
I am not a very advanced quilter -- stitch in the ditch is may speed.

I know it is cliche to pick pink for a baby girl, but I love pink and I can't help myself.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lyme Disease

Thanks for the thoughts of concern and caring, everyone.

I asked a friend to come by and look to see if I had a tick bite.  She was sure it was a bite, but maybe not a tick.  She took the picture and showed it to her husband who grew up in tick country.  He said, "definitely a tick bite." So she called me and suggested (orderedšŸ˜€) I go to Urgent Care.

I went to the Urgent Care and announced to the nurse and then the doctor there that I had thought I had the flu but then I noticed this (turning and lifting my shirt). The nurse said, "I'll get the doctor, but I don't think you have the flu." The doctor then heard my tale and said, "That is definitely A Lyme rash and since you are reporting fever and other flu like symptoms, I am calling in a prescription for Doxycycline hyaclate immediately. You don't have flu."  So there were questions and answers and then I stopped at the pharmacy on my way home and took the first dose.

The doctor did not feel the need to take blood.  She thought it was early enough that antibodies might not be active yet but I was getting the antibiotic anyway so it was kind of a moot point.

My sister-in-law, who had Lyme's disease last summer, said, "Meet sleep, your new best friend."  That pretty much sums it up.  All other plans put on hold for the immediate future.

Sleep is a good thing.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fresh Hell

I took the kids to a Lake Monsters ballgame Monday night.  It was 25 cent hotdog night.  7986 sold, but I was not tempted.  Kristen wouldn't eat a hotdog except at the ballgame and Dane had two.  It was crowded, but the game was a good one although the LM lost 4-5.

We got home at 10:30 and all of a sudden I was dead tired.  I slept until ten in the morning, but The fatigue was coming at me waves.  And I had chills and fevers.  I basically stayed in bed for days.  I was blaming it on the crowd and germs of a a crowded public place.  I thought I had flu.

But, know what else causes aches and pains, severe headache, extreme fatigue, and mental fog? Lyme disease from a tick bite.  I have this unreasonable dread fear of tick bites, one.  And two, I noticed this this afternoon:

That's god-awful nasty looking.  Or I could try to pass it off as a watercolor bloom tattoo?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Broken Bones

Not mine, I should hasten to say.

My friend Ginnie. I would call her Humpty Dumpty but she falls and breaks bones rather than an egg shell.  I went with her to a follow appointment for a broken wrist she suffered almost a month ago.  She was to have a consult with a specialist about whether or not she might need surgery.

The waiting room was filled with people with casts and bones in various states of healing.  I noticed (and this may be a gross overgeneralization, but it seemed true that day) that people with broken bones can be quite gregarious.  It was like being at a party, everybody chatting and sharing the gruesome details of their injuries, mingling as they moved from waiting room to x-ray department, calling cheery good-byes when they were whisked into the doctors' offices.

Well. in absorbing all this, I picked up a valuable tip.  I learned that it apparently a good idea to cover a cast when taking a shower.  You can fool around with plastic bags, but that is difficult if you don't have someone around to help secure it and even then it might fail.  I learned that there are covers you can buy at a medical supply place, but these are quite pricey.  So here's the tip revealed by a young woman who was comparing arm casts with Ginnie:

Go to a local farm supply store.  Purchase breeder gloves.  They're generally used for artificially inseminating cows and horses.

They are relatively inexpensive -- ten for 12 bucks.  They come in colors!

I hope I never have to use this tip.  I hope you never have to either, but now you know.  I should post this on Pinterest.

Monday, July 10, 2017


I took my grandson to a baseball game last Friday night.  We went to see the Lake Monsters.  Their home venue is Centennial Field in Burlington.  I think there is some kind of connection with the Tamp Bay Rays, but I am not so clear on how that all works.

My grandson enjoys going to the stadium and he knows enough about the game to follow the action.
Although there wasn't so much action at that game -- Vermont won with a run in the 15th inning. I suppose that is what they call a pitchers' duel, but it seemed like bad hitting to me (lots of fly balls and fouls).  But the experience is all about being in the stands, having a hotdog, and cheering along with the crowd.  We will go again.  It's fun and affordable.

Dane had some money burning a hole in his pocket.  He bought a foam paw and a Lake Monster stuffy:

He did not want to take these items home with him on Saturday.  He said he wanted to leave them here at my place "to decorate my room."  When my son moved into his own place last year, I thought I was gaining spare room but Dane definitely thinks of it as his very own home away from home.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


I had a pleasant Fourth spent with friends.  We watched a parade, had chicken barbecue, and took in the fireworks.  I enjoy watching fireworks.  A friend from Florida sent me a picture of the light show put on in Venice.

Mother Nature was not going to be outdone!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Never Say Never

My condo has a teeny tiny kitchen.  It has what I need to cook for myself although some might find it lacking because I do not have a microwave.

I had a small coffee pot -- one of those Mr. Coffee kind that made two cups even though it claimed to make five.  That was fine as I seldom to never drink more than two cups.  Unfortunately, I cracked the carafe and I could not find a replacement at nearby stores.  I bought a new coffee pot instead:

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew

My son worked for Keurig when they first came out with those K-cup things and I said, "What a waste.  I would never own one of those things?"

Well guess what.  I can now use K-cups to make my morning cup of coffee.  This coffee maker did come with a reusable filter so I fill that and enjoy my magic wake-up elixir. But it does have a cup that can be used for the individual pods.

That is what I will use nearly all the time.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Movie Night

Google image

My sister-in-law and friend, Jean, was here for a weekend visit.  Since it was pouring for most of the day on Friday, we mostly did indoor things.  We went out to lunch, poked around an antique/50's vintage store, visited the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory.  In the evening we decided to go to a movie.  We picked Beatriz at Dinner.

Here's what Rotten Tomatoes has to say about the movie:
Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same.

 They gave it four stars for its "timely social commentary" and powerful acting.

Well, if you like your timely social commentary delivered with a sledge hammer to the head, I suppose I can see the rating.  But you can save the price of a movie theater ticket and just watch the television news or read a newspaper. There's a big divide in the country.

I thought the movie was annoyingly obtuse.   Beatriz will never be the same, perhaps, but I did not I didn't see any kind of light go on for Doug Strutt.  Neither character was especially endearing.  My take-away was in thinking of soul development and it's clear that there is a whole lotta work in need of doing before any kind enlightenment is the norm.

Monday, June 19, 2017


I was innocently eating an apple when my grandson let out a cry of disbelief.

What's wrong?

I have to get an apple so I can show you how to eat one!

You take a bite, chew, swallow, take another bite.  It's not rocket science.

You're holding it wrong.  I can'f believe you don't know how to eat an apple, Grandma!

Holding it wrong?

Well, the lad has definite ideas about the proper way of orienting an apple as you move it toward the mouth and take a bite.

For decades now I have held an apple -- thumb on the blossom end, fingers on the stem end -- and bit into it so that my thumb and fingers would line up along the corners of my mouth.

Even toddlers know how to do it.

Dane, on the other hand, thinks the apple should be stem up and blossom end down. I guess some people agree.

In any case, I guess an apple a day will keep the doctor away.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Oh, there is this blinding ball of light in the sky!  Whatever could it be?

I am watching the lawnmower service busy outside.  One guy with a weed whacker and another on a huge lawn tractor.  The grass was indeed very high, but the ground is so saturated I don't quite understand how that large mower is not sinking and making ruts.

In truth, I would rather be sipping my coffee and watching the rabbits cavorting on the lawn.  They are ever so much cuter and quieter.


I went with a friend to see author Howard Norman do a reading from his new book, My Darling Detective, at the bookstore in Montpelier.

The reading was intriguing enough to make me purchase the book on the spot.  It is billed on the back cover reviews as "an homage to noir."


I hope every one is enjoying Linda's garden tours.  I will show you why I am always in such awe of her photos of Washington state gardens:

Only one iris bud and one peony bud!

Baby host

Annuals in pots

do add spots of color.

My herb garden

Rhododendron put on a good display though.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Some Words of Wisdom

offer some words of wisdom today:

  • Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  • The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  •  Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

You're welcome!  Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Kay, on her blog Musings, recently posted about shampoo.

I loved her first line:

        You know I'm having difficulty finding something to write about when I wander around the house staring at           things.

I had to laugh because I know that feeling all too well.

Her topic of shampoo got me thinking about hair because my hair was a fairly frequent topic of discussion during my winter in Florida.

Obviously, I don't spend a lot of time or money on my hair:

The guy that cuts my hair used to suggest "low lights" (whatever those are) but he has given up and now agrees I should just be grateful for a "healthy head of hair."

One woman with whom I walk the beach told me that my hair color does not suit me.  I should dye it red and then the two of us will go to the Senior Center to pick up men!!

Good grief!  I really do not see myself as a red head.  And quite frankly, if I want to pick up men, the Senior Center is not going to be my venue of choice.*

Other friends staged what felt like an intervention, telling me I would look years younger if I just colored my hair.

A.  I would not feel in any way good about having chemicals dumped on my head. No, just no.  

B.  I quite like my hair just the way it is.

I should probably mention that no one thinks twice about hair in Vermont, the hippie-dippy natural state.  You've all seen Bernie.

*Sorry to be ageist. But here is my take on dating at a certain age, all the same:

Growing old with someone 

is a mystical mirror.
Looking in, I  see you,  
as I see  myself,
the sinewy muscle,
fresh,  smooth skin,
and lush, full lips
ripe for kissing,
even as it fades, a hint
of boundless energy.

Oh how memory softens
sharp edges of reality, 
the good old days and
getting through the bad.
The brutal fact remains -- 
and sad to say --
we are not bottles of wine 
nestled in Chateau Margaux 
aging into perfection.

Don’t think I whine about 
Growing old...No.
I mourn the loss of
Shared memories, 
shared illusions preserving
that reflection of youth
Because frankly
men my age 
Are just so darn old.

March, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Still Spring

It is still spring in Vermont although for two or three days last week we had a taste of summer with temperatures shooting up to high 80's.

Before I could snap a picture of the gorgeous pinkness of the crab apple tree in bloom, a cold front blew in and also blew all the petals off the tree.  My car, parked nearby, looked like it had been festooned with confetti.

The grass is green and the trees have that tender yellow-green cast of early leaves, but the sun wants to stay hidden.

Contrast the water views:

Spring in VT

Winter in FL


I am frustrated with trying to post adequate photos.  These are from my old phone, obviously not an up to date iPhone.

I don't know whether to blame Google, Blogger, Apple's Photos or the Universe in general, but I cannot access "Photos" on my computer when I am working to post in Blogger.  Grr.  I just get the spinning thing.

Maybe it's me.