Sunday, December 30, 2012

My year in pictures continued...

I had a very quiet and uneventful summer once we got into July.  The big highlight of my month was driving down to Griswold, Connecticut with Greg to see the sunflowers at Buttonwood Farm.  I am a sunflower lover and this was one heck of a spectacular display.  Note to self:  make sure you go back in 2013.

August also continued to be quiet and pretty...well, commonplace.  In order to bring a little excitement into my life, I brought a bouquet of hydrangea into the house and took pictures of it.  I do lead a pretty dull life…

September was a time with an almost daily parade of turkeys through our yard.  Turkeys may not be the most beautiful birds in the world, but they are entertaining and fun to watch.  I think I agree with Benjamin Franklin on this one.

In October, things got a little more exciting.  Greg and I went with friends to Italy and stayed a week on the Amalfi Coast.  It was a wonderful trip and I enjoyed it thoroughly even though I knew that I was missing the peak of autumn here in New England…my favorite time of year.  Some day, I wish they could figure out a way that we could actually be in two places at once.  And while they are at it, I wouldn’t mind if they could perfect beaming a la Star Trek.  After our return from Italy, I had ten days to prepare for total knee replacement surgery.  I went under the knife on October 24 not really prepared.  But that was the day I picked so I had to stick with it.

So in November, I spent the month recovering…and I have been spending December recovering as well.  There is nothing fun about recovering from knee surgery, believe me.  I often feel like I take one step forward and two steps back.  But I am done with physical therapy and they tell me I am doing well.  I suppose I will get there eventually and I will have no regrets about it.  But I wish someone were with me in the middle of the night to remind me that I did the right thing when I can’t get comfortable and back to sleep.  Oh, well…such is life and in spite of it all, I know that I am just about the luckiest person around.

I wish you all a New Year filled with wonder and curiosity.  I hope you see beauty in your everyday life and it gives wings to brilliant creativity.  Mostly, I wish you health and happiness.  And a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

My year in pictures…

I send my apologies all around for not being here.  I have no excuses except that sometimes life gets in the way of my enjoyment of it and there is never enough time.

At the end of last year, I decided to go through my photos and pick one out for each month that illustrated the way things were going for me at the time.  This year I am doing the same.  So here are my first six months of my 2012 in pictures.

In January, Greg and I took a drive down to Charleston, South Carolina.  It was a wonderful trip and we saw lots of beautiful things, but the experience that stood out to me was being in the presence of the Angel Oak.  The Angel Oak is a Southern Live Oak that is estimated to be between 300 and 400 years old.  Standing near this magnificent tree was a spiritual experience for me that I will not soon forget.

February…well, what can I say?  I imagine that I drink more coffee in February than in all the rest of the months combined.

In March, we were lucky to be able to travel to St. John with our good friends and travel companions, Dona and Bob.  We had a great time in this beautiful place, but if truth were told, we have a good time with Dona and Bob pretty much any place we end up.  After all, isn’t that what friendship is all about?  

In April, I got together with my daughter Carrie for one of our field trips.  We went to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  We had fun watching the ponies eating the rainbows and pooping out the butterflies…

In May, our son Evan received his Master’s Degree in Information and Library Science from Syracuse University.  As a reward, he and I embarked on a wonderful journey to Budapest, Vienna and Prague.  I took this picture on the last day we were in Prague.  We ate lunch at a sidewalk cafĂ© called La Gare.  La Gare in French means “the station.” 

Carrie and I got together in June to check out The Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, Massachusetts.  This place is a wonderland of color and creativity.  If you ever find yourself in Goshen, you must walk around here with your camera.  But call me first, because I want to meet you there…

The adventure continues...

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Prayer to the Earth at Yule...

Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.

~Patti Wigington

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

Here are the prompts for this week's Scavenger Hunt:  sparkly, door, decorate, stripes, and a few of my favorite things.  And here is the way I see it this week:

SPARKLY didn't turn out as I expected.   This little bird looked pretty sparkly to me when I had him in the house but I think it was just too bright out for him to sparkle much.  Too much competition from the sun.  Still I like him so here he is:

DOOR.  Here's our front door with the wreath I have thrown on there for the last few years.  This wreath has held up like iron.  I like the contrast of the black and red.  That's fake snow, by the way.  I just think it looks a little more festive with the snow.

DECORATE:  I had to go to a meeting the other night and decided to go down to our Town Common to look at the tree that they decorate and light up each year.  I like the plaid effect.

STRIPES:  Natural striping on a birch tree.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Now that's a fence....

Scrounging around in my archives for a fence to post today, I came across this photo that I took while in Capri, Italy.  At the time I took this photo, I remember standing there and wondering  whether or not I would be in much better shape or much worse shape if I had had to navigate those stairs every day.  There seemed to be a school at the top so mostly there were youngsters climbing down.  But just the thought of all that climbing right now makes my knee scream in agony.  Hopefully, once fully recovered, that will not be the case.  But in the meantime, it's a good thing I am living in the relative flatness of Central Massachusetts.

Linking to Friday Fences.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A few things I don't want for Christmas...

...just in case any of you are still shopping for me.  Not that these things aren't cool but they just aren't me.  I will take books..preferably murder mysteries.  Or camera equipment...hint, hint...

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Life and Times of Olive the Pug...

Sometimes it's just not possible for a dog to have a better day.

  Yesterday was one of those days for Olive the pug.  On our way home from lunch, I noticed that the pond was very flat and reflective.  When I see that during the day, I just want to go down there and take pictures.  The weather was okay but it was pretty cold.  Still I asked Olive if she would like to wander down to the beach in the golf cart.  Well, if you have followed this blog for any length of time, you would know that the golf cart is Olive's Favorite Thing  (it might even trump cheese) and wandering down to the beach is her Favorite Thing.  So, in spite of the cool weather, she just couldn't say no. 

Once down at the beach, I saw some cool things and Olive smelled some cool things. 

Then we got back into the golf cart and came home.  At home, Olive's new bed was waiting for her on the couch.  That bed might just be her new Favorite Thing.  She loves it and she didn't even have to wait until Christmas to try it out.  Can a dog have a better day than that, I ask you?  I think not.  At least not until tomorrow....

Friday, December 7, 2012

The very colorful Isle of Capri...

It is a very grey and raw day here in Central Massachusetts.  I had to get up and get to Worcester for my post-op appointment with my knee surgeon.  He told me that everything is lined up properly on my new 70 to 75% improved left knee.  After all, he said in so many words, there will still be some pain because we're not 15 anymore and nothing could be done about your aching muscles and the bursitis. But now I am free to drive.  I said, "Whoops!  I've been driving for almost three weeks."  He just looked at me.  Then he said that I should take two Advil and come back and see him in two years.  That is, unless I decide that I can't stand to stand on my  95% bad right knee and then I should come back sooner.  Two years is fine with me.  I am happy to hear that all is lined up correctly and in place.  It still hurts a bit especially at night and I will be going to physical therapy until Christmas Eve.  Then I should be free to live my life as I want.  

But driving into Worcester today was just kind of depressing with all the grey.  I decided that when I got home, I would go back to the Isle of Capri for a little while.  I could use a little color in my life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Living in a fog...

Dealing with a lack of sleep has been a challenge for me in the last few weeks.  On Sunday morning of this week I woke up and looked outside to a an atmosphere that largely resembled what was going on in my head.  Up and out I went and took a few photos of the fog.  Today it is crisp and clear out and here I sit waiting for the outside to influence my brain.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Scrounging around for the Scavenger Hunt...

I just took my last photo for this week's Scavenger Hunt about a half hour ago.  Nothing like putting things off til the last minute.  Here are this week's prompts:  missing, numbers, purple, music, bracelet.  And here are my entries:

Looking at this photo, you may wonder what is MISSING.  Well, about a year and a half ago, this hill was covered with trees and other foliage.  But the tornado that passed through the area on June 1, 2011, took care of all that.  The hill has been cleaned up but where are the trees?  They are MISSING.

My son proudly shows off the NUMBER panel on his new iPhone.

I want to know why they are called "red" onions.  To me, this onion looks pretty darn PURPLE.

These books contain the MUSIC that we sing in church on Sunday.

I am not a BRACELET person.  I really don't like the feel of things around my wrists, but this particular BRACELET came with a necklace I bought and I've never given it away.  Note to self:  ask Carrie if she wants this bracelet.


Friday, November 30, 2012

A country fence...

Taken on the grounds of The Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, where we had lunch with my brother Rob while he was visiting earlier this month.

My son and I went to see Star Trek, The Next Generation last night on the big screen at our local cinema Cinemagic.  What fun!  If you are any bit of a Trekkie, I would recommend it if it comes to a cinema near you.

Linking to Friday's Fences.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A fine dusting...

I had to get up literally at the crack of dawn this morning to make my way into Worcester for a physical therapy session.  I would have loved to stay in bed for an hour or two more but as the sun was coming up, I saw that the little bit of snow that we got yesterday was hanging onto the shrubs and trees in a most attractive way.  So I decided to take my camera along with me.

As I passed our neighbor's house, I noticed a lone turkey making his way through the woods.  Lucky him for surviving Thanksgiving.  Of course, he probably knows that as long as he sticks around in the neighborhood, he will be safe.

On the way home from physical therapy, I decided to drive around a little to  check out some of our local places where I thought the snow might be nice and I came across this little bridge that someone decided to use as a message board to remind us that all we need is love.

I am a real sucker for that copper color of an old leftover oak leaf against the white.

So I moseyed on home.  I still wish I could have stayed in bed for another hour or two this morning, but if I had to get up, at least I got to enjoy the beauty of the fine dusting of snow that we got yesterday.  As I was enjoying my first cup of coffee finally, I took a glimpse out the window and saw this fine specimen posing so nicely.  

I hope you all had a good morning, too.