Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Way We Were Wednesday - The First Spouse

 This was taken in the early 1950's, before my time, cousin Nellie and her first husband - I think his name was Al.  All I know is the marriage was short, the divorce ugly, in an era when you had to prove adultery, cruelty, or abandonment to the Court.  There were mentions of poverty, abuse and unhappiness.  After the divorce she moved to Miami with an Uncle, Uncle Bob, who sold his bar in New York when he sobered up, and moved south to start over.  Nellie married a prince of man, Winifred, who had move to Miami from New Jersey.  He was a heavy equipment mechanic, and master of all trades.  Nellie never had kids, Win had one son, a drummer in nightclubs in Miami Beach, and a granddaughter.  The son was a bit of a sponge, always trying to get more money out of his father, they adored the grand daughter and did the best they could to give her a good start in life.  

When they retired, they took a long delayed cruise, Winn had a heart attack in the middle of the Panama Canal, survived and lived another 10-15 years.  They sold out in Miami and moved to Sebring Florida.  Nellie had lived with my father's family during World War II (their house was a virtual refugee center for a few years.) 

I never knew the first spouse, but love was good to Nellie the second time around.     

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Travel Tuesday - To Selfie or Not to Selfie?

A few years ago, a colleague and her husband went on a snow skiing  trip to South America.  When she came back she had a couple of hundred photos to share, everyone one of the photos had one, or the other, or both of them in the photo.  Raising the question, to selfie or not to selfie?  Sometimes I want a photo to prove that I was there.  Most often I want a photo of where I have been. 

The photo above was taken on a side street in Dublin. We were looking for a place to have dinner and walked around several blocks, thinking there has to be someplace.  There was one place with a crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk, drinks in hand, we walked on.  I was taken by the chapel in the glass box.  It was unclear if the goal was to develop the space above, or to preserve the older structure (attached to a church next door.) It did both, and when it is lit up at night it is striking.  Dublin is on the definitely yes I would go back list.  I need more selfies to prove I was there.  

Monday, March 29, 2021

My Music Monday - The Sound of Silence - Pentatonix

I love this song, I am of the era, it was released when I was young.  The message can be dark, or depressing, but it can also be a welcoming of being alone, in silence. Sometimes I just need to get away, to hear the birds, to hear the wind, to silence the chatter of daily life.  

This weeks photo was taken on a mountain top, near Juneau in Alaska. We took a cable car / ski life to the top, and walked a trail around the top of the mountain in the fog and a little light rain.  It was magical. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Sunday Five - Grooming

Oh I know just how this goose feels, that clump of hair that stands straight up.  Hence this weeks Sunday five, Grooming.

  1. When was your last haircut? 
  2. Do you prefer a shower or a bath? 
  3. Have you ever had your hair colored? 
  4. Do you buy special soap or shower gel? 
  5. Do you carry a brush or comb with you?  
My Answers: 

  1. When was your last haircut? Late January 2020, my hair has never been this long. 
  2. Do you prefer a shower or a bath? Shower, I had the tub removed in the bathroom remodel and a wonderful shower put in it's place. 
  3. Have you ever had your hair colored? No
  4. Do you buy special soap or shower gel? Yes, I have for decades.  Simple pleasures. 
  5. Do you carry a brush or comb with you?  Not unless I have my office bag with me, and it hasn't left the house in a year. 
Please share your answers in the comments.  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Saturday Morning Post - Post Vaccine Uphoria

Maybe it is the arrival of spring, more hours of daylight, the early spring bloom, or maybe it is a post vaccine uphoria, but my mood has lightened.  And it feels good! 

I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last Saturday.  The second dose will be around April 10th, I will receive an email when appointments are available.  Last Saturday, I went out to the County Administration building. I had never been there before, most everything can be done online, or by mail (like paying property taxes, renewing car registrations.)  It is larger than many state's state office building, but then Fairfax County has an economy larger than many smaller states.  The process was efficient, I was in and out in about half an hour.  They were set up to process 6,000 people in that one location, on one day.  And there were other locations available. 

In a few weeks I will be a immune as I can be.  I will still be careful.  I am not sure if I can be immune and still infect others, and I wouldn't want to do that.  But I will feel more comfortable returning to public transit, visiting public places, or maybe even eating out, something we have done fewer times in the past year, than we normally did each month.  

I am looking for a new desk chair for home, and someday, I will find the perfect chest of drawers for my bedroom, so when I left the county administration building I stopped at the nearby shopping mall that has one of our favorite furniture stores.  I masked up, stayed away from people, it was not crowded.  It is the first time I have been in a shopping mall in over a year.  

I arrived at 10:30, to find that the stores didn't open until 11:00.  Okay, part of the stop was to get in a nice walk, so I tired walking around the outside of the mall.  I was struck by what an unfriendly place a shopping mall is.  Massive windowless walls, few doors.  This one is especially unfriendly, with parking garages, changes in elevation, it is virtually impossible to walk around the exterior of the building. What an ugly and unwelcoming place.  Inside is not much better, a maze, of corridors, look alike stores with fake window displays.  About 1/3rd of the stores are empty, including a huge failed department store. It is a really sad and uncomfortable place.  One thing that was improved, and is likely a sign of future bad news for retail, the stores were less packed with merchandise.  You could walk through Macy's without bumping into tables and hanging racks.  This made the shopping more pleasant, but is probably a sign that they are ordering in and stocking less merchandize, expecting to sell less.  I don't think the consolidation and closures are done.  One can hope that when the dust settles from tearing down the failed monuments to retail, the next generation of shopping is more welcoming, more people friendly.  


Friday, March 26, 2021

Foodie Friday - Kitchen Tools

A toaster, a coffee maker, and a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, three appliances that live on my limited kitchen counter space.  I have had a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for over 20 years.  It is an amazing machine.  It mixes, it whips with a whisk, and it kneads dough, bread dough, pizza dough.  Not only does it do these things, it does a great job.  I have a drawer full of accessories.  a grater, a shredder, a couple of different grinders, pasta rollers, a pasta extruder and an ice cream freezer.  The grinder attachment is one of my favorites.  I have an after market stainless steel one, that will make ground meat out of almost anything, and when you are done every part of it runs in the dishwasher.   

The coffee maker gets used everyday.  The toaster, two or three times a week.  The Kitchen Aid mixer, at least once a week, some weekends I use it two or three times in a single day.  Would I buy one, yes, could I live without it, it would be hard, life would be different.  

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Be Silly

How am I feeling this week: 

Don't take life too seriously, be silly, be funny, be fun.  Embrace your inner child.  We are never to old to play, to hug stuffed vegetables. They say the difference between the men and the boys, is the price of the toys, the important point being that we are never too old to have toys.  My life is cluttered at times with things that entertain me, or bring me joy.  The joy of the junk, outweighs the burden of keeping order.  Step into the sunshine, let the breeze blow through your hair, take a slow walk in a warm rain, gaze at the night, run off following the bird, look for the first wildflower of spring, the first golden leaf of autumn.  Take photos, lots of photos, ones that only make sense to you, photos of the beauty and oddities surrounding you.  Taste the tastes, smell the smells, feel the smoothness, savor the warmth.  Worry not what others think, in the end there is only one person you can make happy, and that is you.  When all else fails, be silly.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Way We Were Wednesday - Grandfather Dale

This was taken, probably in the mid 1950s, it is my maternal grandfather (my mother's father.) I think this was taken in Florida. My grandparents started traveling with travel trailers in the late 1930's, in the starting in the 1950's when the farm was closed up for the winter, they would go to Florida for the winter, pulling the trailer back and forth. This was in a relatively prosperous time, the fringe on the awning was a sign that money was not tight.  In the early 1960's, he rolled a tractor and broke his leg, while recovering from that he had a major heart attack.  This was long before bypass surgery, he was advised to sell the farm, and retire, or plan a funeral.  They sold the farm, bought a new larger travel trailer, and retired.  He lived another 14 or 15 years, dying in the fall of 1976, after suffering a debilitating stroke. I am not sure what he is carrying, I think a boat oar, he loved to fish, and had a series of small boats.  He was one of a dozen or so kids, grew up farming with horses and mules (he prefered mules.) He had about a 4th grade education. During World War II, he was a steam shovel and dragline operator for construction expanding the Ford Rouge plant.  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Travel Tuesday - Someplace Abbey in Yorkshire

 Okay, I know, I really should know where this was taken, I was there, as was Travel, it is the lower level of a ruined abbey someplace in Yorkshire.  A delightful day walking in the gardens and visiting the ruins. A couple of related memories, the good old days of 256MB memory cards, Jay's camera ran out of memory.  My Nikon has 128GB memory card, I could go for months without running out of space.  My how things have changed in 15 years.  And at the end of the walk through the grounds was a cafe.  I had a delightful slice of cake and a beer.  I wasn't driving, I was on vacation, I could.  

Monday, March 22, 2021

My Music Monday - "One Day More" from Les Misérables | Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra

Be Bold, Be You, you are the best you there will ever be.  Ignore the haters, the body shamers, those who would deny your perfection, your humanity.  Fear not what lies ahead, and don't look back, the past is past, and future lies in the fog ahead. 

Today's photo was taken on the incline railway, up the side of Mt Washington in New Hampshire.  Home to America's worst weather.  I did the trip up, with a steam powered locomotive pushing a single passenger car into the darkness and fog.  It was frightening and thrilling - life is like that.  

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Sunday Five - Hmm, Tell Me About Yourself

 1: Do you go by your given name, or a nickname or shortened version of your name? 

2: Do you prepare your tax returns (forms) or have someone else do them? 

3: Have you used Zoom, or Facetime, or Google Video this week? 

4: Do people think that you are older, younger, or about what your actual age is? 

5: Do you have a family member, you don't stay in contact with? 

My answers: 

1: Do you go by your given name, or a nickname or shortened version of your name? I am fussy about my name, being my name. 

2: Do you prepare your tax returns (forms) or have someone else do them?  Yes, always have. 

3: Have you used Zoom, or Facetime, or Google Video this week?   Unavoidably, that is work most days. 

4: Do people think that you are older, younger, or about what your actual age is?  Most people think I am younger than I am, good genes, I haven't taken good care of myself. 

5: Do you have a family member, you don't stay in contact with?  One brother. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Saturday Morning Post - Random Rambles

US tax returns are due in less than 30 days. My tax returns are done and filed.  I always dread doing them, but our life has become simple, and the returns are fairly easy to do.  Only one complaint, we can't afford the government I want, on what I ended up paying. Not that I won't put the refund to good use.  

Only once in my adult life have I paid someone to prepare my taxes, actually I paid two people that year.  One was ultra conservative, the other one ultra liberal in interpreting the tax and accounting rules, ultimately that year, I did them myself meeting the two in the middle (and that was 35 years ago with no audit, so I must have hit an acceptable balance.) With modern tax software most tax returns are fairly easy to do.  

We have had some wonderful weather recently, after a long cold winter. One day recently after my daily walk in the swamp, I put the top down on the car and took a slow drive.  About 10 minutes into the drive, I looked up and was filled with Joy. I love my little convertible (cabriolet.) It is a dozen years old. I had long wanted one.  The first time I got serious about one, my ex, shot down saying "that is something for you, we should spend money on us." My father poo pooed the idea, convertibles are impractical.  When I told my sweet bear I was thinking about buying one, he said, "do you want to go shopping on Saturday?"  The second Saturday, I bought the one.  That was just over two years ago. I am so lucky, he supports me in owning an expensive toy. I do so enjoy putting the top down on a pretty day.  Even if the car has absolutely no trunk (boot) space.  Even with the top up, you can't stand a bag of groceries up in the trunk. A suitcase, would have to go in the back seat.  But we have practical cars, for practical days. 

A little last minute news, I am getting my first COVID vaccine today!  As instructed by my doctor I signed up on the waiting list in my county 42 days ago.  At one point, it looked like the wait would be 100 days, the supply of vaccine has expanded, things have really sped up.  When I looked at the website last weekend, it looked like I was still a month away, and late Thursday afternoon an email popped up, telling me it is my turn.  I need to think about what I most want to do, when I have had the second shot, ride the subway train into the city, go out to lunch in a nice restaurant are near the top of the list.  I am not sure when the museums will start to open, or the Kennedy Center with live music.      



Friday, March 19, 2021

Foodie Friday - Cooking in Unfamiliar Surroundings

 A good number of years ago, we rented a "holiday let" with dear friends in Yorkshire for a week.  It was a two bedroom attached row house, with a nice if somewhat small kitchen.  It was my first experience of shopping and cooking in another country.  The basics are the same, the ingredients are familiar but somewhat different.  I cooked dinner a couple of times, Stephen's mother, Peggy, sent lamb stew over for us one evening it was heavenly, my first real experience of good lamb, she told me how to make it (sadly, she died a year ago, but she will be forever remembered.) 

One of my dreams in retirement is to rent apartments in unfamiliar places and live somewhat like a local for a month or two, cooking in unfamiliar surroundings.  My idea of fun. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Going in Circles

 I am not sure why, but lately I feel like I am going in circles, struggling with what to say, even with being kind.  Life gets like this from time to time.  I fear that I get so tied up with the moment, that I forget that life goes on.  

I have written a couple of professional items recently, that I am happy with.  One of them started out much more controversial, and was toned down.  As much as I would like to upset some apple carts, the finished product has a better balance.  Common ground is in the middle, and common ground is where progress happens.  

I am thinking more and more about retirement.  A part of me wants to hang on as an outside advocate for a couple of years after I retire, saying things that might upset apple carts, another part of me sees those who have retired and not faded quietly into the sunset and wonders if they will ever allow new ideas, new voices to be heard. I don't want to be that person. My goal was never legacy, it was simply to make a difference during my time, if I am remembered, I hope it is for good things I have done.  

I have finally committed to stepping back from an outside professional organization. There was a dust-up a year ago that ended in me resigning from the board.  I continued on some committee work, and we kept doing the same things and expecting different outcomes.  I finally said, I am not a part of the solution, I might be part of the problem, I am done. 

The Eagle above.  These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago. It was a pretty morning.  I had seen one eagle at the nest.  I went to the car, opened the top, and this one was circling overhead.  I grabbed the camera out of the cup holder between the seats and started snapping photos of the eagle circling, hunting overhead.  It has been a pretty week, the trees are blooming, starting to leaf, the first wildflowers are starting to open.     

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Way We Were Wednesday - Happy Birthday to my Sister

 My sister's birthday is tomorrow, this photo was taken about 60 years ago.  I think she has another year to go for her welcome the Medicare event.  

My oldest brother is standing behind us, I have no idea where my middle brother is, that is me looking down with the bowtie on.  This was in front of the "new house" on the farm.  It was tiny by today's standards, under 1,000 sq. ft. (about 92 Sq. meters) three bedrooms, one bathroom, a tiny kitchen, and there were six of us.  And within five years it was paid for.  As farmers, my parents didn't believe in debt, there are too many uncertainties on the farm. I have really complicated feelings about the farm, it was a quiet safe place to grow up, but isolated from the real world.  I have no desire to return.  I do need to go see my sister, maybe later this summer.   

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Travel Tuesday - Elgin Marbles

 I have been to Athens, and seen the temples on the Acropolis, amazing classical architectural masterpieces. And I have been to London to see the sculpture that decorated the Parthenon. Make no mistake, the Greeks would like to have these artifacts of their heritage back, but if you want to see them today, to see what is left of the originals, you need go the British Museum in London.  How did they end up in London?  The version of the story I have been told, is that Athens was occupied for a foreign military, Lord Elgin asked the military commander about the sculptures, and was told, if you want them, take  them home with you.  I was told recently that they were pried off the facade with massive iron pry-bars.  Parts went crashing to the ground, what we see today, is what survived the theft, only part of what was there at the time. 

If you haven't already been, go to Athens, climb that hill, it is awe inspiring, if you haven't been, go to the British Museum in London and see the rest of the story, think about how much better these two would be in the same place.   

Monday, March 15, 2021

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Sunday Five - Creative Writing Finish this line again

  1. The ears, I noticed the ears, one up, one down, made me wonder __________
  2. Max, the sweet old dog, still remembered the vet who "fixed" him, if he could speak human for just a minute he would say __________.
  3. One brown eye, one blue eye, the blue eye was following ________ around the room, waiting for the perfect opportunity to _________.
  4. The dog smelled me, long before he could see me, he followed his nose, knowing when he found me I would _____________. 
  5. Pink, a pink leash, why yes, _______________.
My answers:

  1. The ears, I noticed the ears, one up, one down, made me wonder if he was listening, or shutting me out. 
  2. Max, the sweet old dog, still remembered the vet who "fixed" him, if he could speak human for just a minute he would say it wasn't broken! 
  3. One brown eye, one blue eye, the blue eye was following John around the room, waiting for the perfect opportunity to snatch a cocktail sausage, John always seems to have a package of those handy.
  4. The dog smelled me, long before he could see me, he followed his nose, knowing when he found me I would be very much alive
  5. Pink, a pink leash, why yes, you gonna try to make something of it, it matches the highlights in my skin.
Please share your answers in the comments, be creative, feel free to be silly. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Saturday Morning Post - Rough Week

Lots going on at the office.  We are short handed, and we have several large projects moving forward, all at the same time.  We have a new person starting early in April.  I look forward to her telling me about the time she was run over by a truck, she said it gave new meaning to waking up in the morning feeling like you have been run over by a truck. (I am going to like her, she loves to tell stories.)  

I was substituted in as a reviewer  for professional journal articles that were commissioned for a summit we are managing this spring.  There are ten of them.  Two are excellent, a few minor edits, add a couple of sentences and they are good to go.  Six are okay, not great, they need work (one is three times the page/word limit.)  Two are terrible. How bad are they? If you turned them in for freshman comp in college, you would fail.  One was five weeks late, filled with mistakes, and incomplete.  Oh My! One of the reasons I started blogging daily, was to improve my writing. If you want to write better, write more, and force yourself to read what you have written.  Typos slip through, they always will, my brain works that way.  

I got grumpy mid week.  Frustration at doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different outcomes. Yep, the shop above would have surcharged me.  Well I was nice to my sweet bear, I try to always be nice to him.

Last weekend, we needed to get out of the house, so we took a drive.  We drove into Washington DC.  I was shocked, the fortified green zone around the Capitol, with the military providing security, stretches all the way down to the National Museum of the American Indian. The the domestic terrorists inspired by the former president, have the city on lock down.  Not the city I fell in love with, not the city I moved here for.  Lock-em up and throw away the key, and take their leader with them. 

I took Friday off, hopefully my grumpiness will pass. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Foodie Friday - Opps, well that worked out okay

 I work up recently with a hankering for a spice cake. I thought about baking one with raisins and walnuts, then I noticed a jar of pitted cherries in the pantry.  I had picked it up (cheap) at a nearby specialty shop, that features foods from the Balkans.  I go there for caviar (American produced.). The jar was pitted sour cherries.  When I picked them up I thought I would make a cherry tart.  I decided to drain them and mix them in a spice cake.  

Then I made a mistake, I took 8 ounces of butter out of the freezer, instead of 4 ounces.  I didn't realize this, until the cake was out of the oven, cooled and served.  

Cherry Spice Cake

That you need: 

    8 ounces of butter, at room temperature

    1 1/2 cups of sugar 

    4 eggs 

    2 cups all purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    2 teaspoons baking powder 

    1/2 teaspoon salt 

    1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 

    1 teaspoon ground allspice 

    1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

    1 teaspoon almond extract 

    1 16 ounce jar of pitted sour cherries, drained, reserving the liquid. 

Cream together the butter and sugar, with and electric mixer, add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy.  Carefully fold in the dry ingredients (flour, soda, baking powder, salt, spices.) I do this by hand.  Carefully fold in the drained cherries.  Transfer to a well greased baking pan (I used a ring mold.) Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.  Invert on a cooling rack, I dusted it with powdered (icing) sugar.  The extra butter was an opps- that turned out well.  The cake is a little more dense, but extra moist. Can be made with half of the amount of butter - but most things are better with more butter.  

Now what to do with the reserved cherry juice.  Put it in a glass bottle, with a tight fitting cap.  Make a simple sugar syrup by heating 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and a squirt of light corn syrup over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  The corn syrup will prevent the granulated sugar from forming crystals.  Cool the sugar syrup to room temperature, add to the cherry juice.  Add two cups of Vodka.  Store the refrigerator.  Can be enjoyed immediately, the flavor will improve if aged for 4 to 6 weeks.  The finished product is about 35 or 40 proof.   

Thursday, March 11, 2021

What's New Around Here

 Recent deliveries included a new Chromebook (CB).  This is my third Chromebook, I have yet to have one break, or fail, after 5 years or so the batteries won't hold a charge for more than a couple of hours, and I buy another one. These are small computers, that run the Chrome operating system, if your primary use of a laptop is web surfing, posting to your blog, reading blogs, watching YouTube, a CB is a cheap, reliable, option.  It is small, just over 2 1/2 pounds (slightly over 1 kilo.) Making it easy to travel with.  At less than $300 I don't worry about breaking it, or losing it.  This one has a touch screen, and is convertible to a tablet.  I have owned several small Windows machines, and frankly they were all crap.  The first one was not bad, but the later generations suffered from a bloated operating system, and lack of memory, one failed because it couldn't download updates to the operating system, because it lacked memory. As much as I like my Mac desktop, I just couldn't justify spending $1000 + on a Mac laptop for what I use it for.  

I have been reading a lot recently.  I am reading with the TV as background noise.  Something that John over at Going Gently posted, led me to look on Amazon, Ruth Coker Burns has a book out, All The Young Men, it is touching and moving, but not an easy read. 

The weather is turning spring like here, you can see the differences in the trees and grasses from day to day.  

We have a new person joining our team at work in April, looking forward to it.  She likes to talk and tell stories.  (We have been short handed since January.) I was able to secure a summer intern, a remote summer intern.    

I am taking random days off.  Without travel, I don't think of taking days off.  The office is changing our policy on carrying time over at the end of the accounting year, and I need to use it or lose it.  Take your time off.  I have worked with a lot of people near the end of their lives, and not one ever said, I wish I had worked more and not taken so many vacations.  


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Way We Were Wednesday - Looking Back Through The Rear Window

Here we are looking back nearly 60 years, through the rear window of a car, crossing a bridge.  My mother would have taken this one, with my father driving and coaching her on how the camera worked.  He always drove when they traveled together.  Mom was not a backseat driver, she was a passenger seat driver, a habit I have had to work hard to get rid of, it drives my sweet bear nuts.  Likely my oldest brother was in the back seat, they took him to New York, I am pretty sure this set of slides was from that trip.  Looking back at the past, wasn't there a movie "Rear Window?" 

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Travel Tuesday - Sleeping Bear Dunes

 I was born and mostly grew up in Michigan (with time in Arizona and Florida along the way,) but saw surprisingly little of Michigan.  I have never been in the Upper Peninsula.  It was decades after I moved away from the "Winter Water Wonderland" before I saw the west coast of Michigan, the Michigan coastline on Lake Michigan.  After I moved to DC I was invited to speak at a conference near Traverse City.  Far enough away from civilization to justify my office paying for a rental car.  I took advantage of the car to do a little sightseeing.  My first, and so far only time, visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes.  These are massive, 200-500 foot tall sand dunes along the shore of Lake Michigan.  I had heard of them, but not seen them. The sign at the top, with the hand written warning, was a sign warning about the ease of sliding down the sand dune to the waters edge, and the exhausting challenge of climbing back up the dune. Heart-attack hill if there ever was one.  

Amazing this was in the same state I grew up in, and I never saw it.  I had been across the country, and a quarter of the way around the world, but not across the 200 miles of state to see what was there.  Reminds me to look at the wonders in my own backyard along the way. 

Monday, March 08, 2021

You Tube Monday - Winter Lover or Winter Hater


Not sure that I would go so far as Tallahassee, but every January and February I question the sanity of living this far north.  This car from Florida probably wonders what happened to me? 

Sunday, March 07, 2021

The Sunday Five - Finish this Line

 Let's play with some creative writing, I will start the line, and you can finish it.  

  1. It was blowing a gale, as we approached the cliff, only to see_____ 
  1. And there it was, on the rocks, the last thing I ever expected to find _______
  2. Over the howling wind, I was surprised to hear _________
  3. The best thing I ever saw on a beach was ______
  4. And after it all, I vowed to return to that beach, shouting to the winds _______
My answers: 
  1. It was blowing a gale, as we approached the cliff, only to see nine penguins fishing for krill.  
  2. And there it was, on the rocks, the last thing I ever expected to find five drag queens in high heeled boots. 
  3. Over the howling wind, I was surprised to hear bagpipes, why did it have to be bagpipes! 
  4. The best thing I ever saw on a beach was sunshine on my shoulders, making me happy. 
  5. And after it all, I vowed to return to that beach, shouting to the winds "you haven't seen the last of me!" 
Please share your answers in the comments, feel free to be creative, crazy, silly, 

Saturday, March 06, 2021

The Saturday Morning Post - February Photos

Just gliding along, 

Hi Honey, I'm home with fresh seaweed! 

Downy Woodpecker 

Would you park there? 

A 10mm super wide angle lens, into a convex mirror, a view wider than the human eye. 

I am not the only one out for a walk, 

Mrs and Mr Duck

An alley in Old Town Alexandria 


Snow on the fine mesh back fence at the condo.

Ring Billed Gull


Ice on the trail in the Marsh several mornings 

My Summer Car (Convertible) in the Snow

We had several modest snowfalls in February this year

The history of Dyke Marsh, includes the building of berms or dykes to drain it for agricultural use, then in the post World War II construction boom, it was mined for sand, gravel and rock, and backfilled construction debris.  The child's wagon and dump truck, are in tune with the history.  

Statistically, we are likely to have one more mild snow, then winter will be gone.  Likely by the time I post photos from March, we will start to see buds bursting into leaf, and early wildflowers.