Sunday, May 31, 2015

Old Pete

I was talking to a friend about the poetry group I belong to today.

I was reminded of this poem I wrote in response to a challenge to write something in a rhyming style.

This picture is not Old Pete, but it looks enough like him--if you add a good twenty pounds:

Ode to Pete

Old Pete, he was a good old hound.
A better friend could not be found.
He never barked; he didn’t growl,
But for a biscuit, he would howl.
He liked to lie upon his bed.
His only trick was playing dead.
He had no truck with chasing sticks.
He wanted dinner right at six.
To fetch a ball, he did not choose.
He suffered cats who came in twos.
If you should chance to stop and linger, 
And you were just the kind of singer
Who had the heart to sing the blues,
Then Pete would join with his A-roos.

March, 2015

 Pete was named for a Civil War general,  James Longstreet.  I am not sure why other than the fact that Mike was a keen student of history.

This is not something I would typically write but the challenge was made and I had to give it a try.  The inspiration came as I was walking through the Farmer's Market and there was a man walking a blood hound nearby.  The hound started baying in that unique hound way and I was immediately brought to thoughts of Old Pete and a blues band singer named Dana who used to sometimes come by for a few beers and a duet.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Crystal Magic

Healing crystal meanings are meant as spiritual supports to healing and are not healthcare advice or prescriptions. Use the crystal meanings  to help find your own inner  truth; what is best and right for one is not necessary so for another.  Some crystals and formations have long-standing traditional uses and properties while others may have newer discoveries of uses or properties. Follow the guidance and wisdom of the Divine and of your higher self when working with crystals.

I have always been unable to resist picking up interesting rocks, shells, acorns, all kinds of bits of nature's ephemera. 

I have little bowls and baskets of such things scattered around me.  I guess those things do speak to my soul in some way.  I know that just looking at them, running my fingers over a smooth surface, gives me a degree of comfort.  It is simply a way of focusing on the moment, what is right there in front of me, and letting anything else just go for a while.

A mini-meditation--benefit enough for me.

And some--a particular collection of shells, a basket of river washed stones, even pinecones--bring floods of memories from trips Mike and I took together.  I think I would grab those things before the photo albums in that disaster scenario of what would you save in the event a ...

Lately, I have been adding particular crystals to the mix because I am drawn to the colors or the textures.  I gave away some of stones in the picture above, but I also kept some to dot across the window sill next to my bed.

I think it is here where younger people would say, "Don't judge me."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I started up my yoga practice again after a bit of a break.  I think the hot yoga I took all winter did help with flexibility, but I really did miss the kinder, gentler, use props if you need to, listen to singing bowls,  smell the incense, and meditate kind of yoga.

Some day I will be motivated enough to practice every day right in the comfort of my own home.  Should be easy enough because there are hundreds of videos available on Youtube.  I'll let you know how that works out for me.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembrance Day

Dane and I went to the Jericho Memorial Day parade.  Veterans in uniform marched and the high school band played.  There was a motorcycle and a couple of miniature horses pulling carts, the town boy scout troop and a little league baseball team.

Best part of the parade?  "Candy!"-- thrown to the kids lining the route.  And the fact that the rain held off until it was over.

However you choose to honor the day, remembering those who served their country or welcoming summer, stay safe.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Binge Watch

I pay a fair amount to the cable company, but when I want to watch TV I turn to Netflix more and more.  The latest in my to-watch queue is a Netflix series...Grace and Frankie.
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, and Martin Sheen.

Remember the old series Thirty Something?  This is like Seventy Something.

The two men, who are long time law partners, announce that they want to be life partners as well.   The women, their wives of forty years, and who never actually got along all that well, end up sharing a house as they adjust to being single.   Lily Tomlin is a hoot.  Jane Fonda fits her part.  And there are no commercials.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring Beauty

The beauty of spring in all its glory:

bleeding heart

snowball viburnum

some kind of miniature iris

fragrant lily of the valley

and lilacs


purple and white iris

crab apple blossoms


And then there is the less glorious:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Vermont Spring Gardens

The weather was very warm when I first got back to Vermont,  but then we had rain on Sunday and Monday and it has gotten cooler.  The rain did pop out all the leaves though.  Everything is so green even though the buds were barely showing when this picture was taken last week.

The grass also grew and grew fast.  My son kindly mowed the lawn and I have been doing work in the gardens--weeding, raking, edging.

I did look out the window two days ago and saw a rabbit sitting by the back step. He seemed to be saying something about remembering that I had lettuce planted nearby last summer, and hadn't I better get out there and get started on that once again.

I have my herbs under control and I will add annuals to the gardens in a couple weeks.  I have decided that I will be supporting the local farmers' markets for fresh vegetables though.  There are so many and they are fun to attend.  I think the local farmers deserve my support.  Sorry, rabbit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Learning to Drive

I drove a Ford Focus all winter in Florida, drove it down there from Vermont and left it there so I can fly back and forth from now on and have a vehicle to use down there.

I sold Mike's full size Chevy van and our Ford Taurus X.  A little Ford Focus is a much more practical car for me in size and economy of gas consumption.

Now that I am home in Vermont, I am back to driving my Toyota Prius, also a practical size and economical on the fuel.

The thing is I am having to learn to drive the Prius all over again.

So in some ways the car is helpful.  If I miss a step in the start up sequence a correction flashes on the screen.  If I leave my bag with the key in it too long after shutting down--beeps and another helpful reminder that the key is detected inside the car.  Beeps and CAPS and !!!! and orange warning triangles...nice that it is helpful but I wish it wasn't so snarky about it.  Stop yelling at me!

The windshield wipers are on when the lever is up on the Prius, down on the Focus.  Cruise control on right versus left, radios controls on left versus right, and on and on.  They are both automatic transmissions, but the way the gear lever works is different on the Prius.

The learning curve should even out quickly though.

And then there are the studded snow tires which I could not get an appointment to change out until May 20. Although it is 33 degrees here this morning...

BTW, the Prius hybrid is giving a minor challenge to Subaru as the official car of Vermont.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Children's Fair.

The annual Children's Fair was held at the waterfront park in Burlington.  Since I had a child for the weekend, we decided to go check it out.
There were free activities...and some not so free, of course.  I got off lightly since, true to his family heritage, Dane likes to avoid both crowds and clowns.

Rock throwing (such a boy thing, isn't it?) is always great entertainment.

And there was not a line for sitting in the giant chair. Go figure.  The super slide was much more popular.

I did think it was well worth the price of a ticket for a train ride.

Dane really enjoyed that, even though he did have a bit of trouble with the "hands and heads inside the window."  Well, the windows were open and he figured that rule was for the safety of little kids.  My camera battery died so I did not get a picture after the train started moving.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

I am remembering my mother on this day.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Minor Depression

Thursday was such a beautiful day--blue sky, warm temps (81! but no humidity and a gentle breeze).  The daffodils are blooming in my garden and the crab apple tree shows signs of being about to burst into bloom.  Other perennials are just barely braving an exploratory poke of green out from under their winter blankets.  The grass is nice and green.  Of course, the weeds are already thriving.

There is a heavy layer of road salt grime over the car and garage floor.  The windows are super dirty and there is plenty of dust to chase around.  My son was complaining that he needs new reading glasses, so I will assume he just doesn't see it (even though I am sure that dust blindness is one of those things that resides on the Y chromosome).

I miss my neat and easy to clean place in Florida and the lawn service.  It is taking me a while to adjust.  There is much to be done...starting with arranging for a new furnace.  Not a happy thought.

BUT, I am seeing friends and the grandkids are on their way to spend the weekend so I need to cheer up.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Home again, home again,

jiggedy jog!

I had a truly uneventful flight back to Vermont.  And who would ask for anything more than no events on a flight?

We even landed early at both JFK and Burlington. checked bag was the second one on the carousel at baggage claim.  That has never, ever happened before!

Of course, it meant extra wait time for me since I had told my son a pick up time that took into account the certainty of a somewhat delayed flight and my bag being its usual last off the plane.  It's always something!  I am being like Tabor complaining that she has to take this trip to France.

There are a few daffodils in bloom in my yard.  The grass is green and may even need mowing by the weekend.  Some buds on the trees.  I missed mud season...although this year it has been dry so, I hear, it was more like dust season.

So I rested today.  Tomorrow I can start spring cleaning!  Again!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Busy Week

It was a busy week last week and a busy day today.  I have been getting ready for the flight back to Vermont and saying good-bye all week to friends here.  It is always a little sad, the leave taking, and always something to look forward to going from one place to the other.

Bye, Florida house.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Setting Sun

North Jetty, Nokomis, Florida:

The sun sets, but the fishing goes on.