Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boston Stronger!

Indulge me while I enjoy the moment. Last night, the Boston Red Sox won the Fall Classic and are Major League Baseball's World Champs. What great guys! They worked hard and deserved to win. After the anguish of the Marathon Bombing, this is such a joy.

I missed the first inning of last night’s game because I had to go to a meeting.  But at the meeting, a neighbor and friend of ours who was there said that she and her husband watch every single game and were going to stay up until the end last night, win or lose.  We made an agreement that if the Sox won, we would go out and shout it out to the neighborhood.  That we did!  Sorry if you were asleep in bed and we woke you.  Well, I’m only kinda sorry.  You should have been up watching the Red Sox.

I have loved baseball all my life.  I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan because we lived in southern Ohio.  I loved the Big Red Machine!  But I moved to Cleveland in the late seventies and spent a few hapless years going to the games in that behemoth of a ballpark Municipal Stadium.  Though the Indians were pretty bad at that time, we had some great times there and one cold and drizzly night in the middle of May, 1981, Greg and I were present when Indians pitcher Len Barker pitched a perfect game.  A baseball lover’s thrill!

 For the last 30 years or so, I have been a member of Red Sox Nation.  And these days, whether they are good or bad, I love the Red Sox, though I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Reds and the Indians.

But mostly, I just love baseball.  I love the symmetry of it.  I love ballparks and the fact that though the infield measurements are the same in every park, each park is unique and quirky and beautiful in its own way.   I should know.  I’ve been to twenty-six of them, not counting a few minor league parks.  I love the smell of ballparks and the thrill I get when I walk from the concourse into the burst of green of the field.  I love opening my scorebook and keeping track of every pitch when I’m at the ballpark and  I love turning on the TV, settling down at night and waiting for the first pitch when we watch the game at home.  I love talking about the game the next day.  I love that baseball is the only major American team sport that isn’t timed.

 I love that even though my team may be down by seven (or more) runs late in the game or coming off an abysmal year when they ended up in last place, there is always that hope that they might come back and win, because the game is never ever over until the last out.

I love that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October love...

As it's winding down, I guess I'm already getting nostalgic.  I love fall and October is my favorite month.  Oh, well...if all goes well, I'll see a few more.



Friday, October 25, 2013

Random 5 Friday...

1)  Yesterday was the first anniversary of my new left knee.  It seems that around the three month mark after the surgery, I went to sleep with an achy knee and when I woke up the knee no longer ached too much.  The healing was mostly done and it no longer felt like I had a foreigner living in my body.  These days, there are times when I say that my new knee is the only joint I have that isn’t hurting.  I say that only partly in jest because some days are a true challenge.  Such is the nature of arthritis unfortunately.  The fact is, I am much better off with my new knee and am very happy that the temporary suffering from the surgery was well worth the end results.  I probably wouldn’t have gone out to take these shots last year prior to the surgery on my two aching knees, but am willing to move around more with only one aching knee.

2)  So I’m on Day 123 of my Flickr 365.  I say that with trepidation because I discovered earlier this week that I had mis-numbered my days.  I tend to do this with numbers:  24, 25, 26, 27, 26, 25, 26, 62, 63, 64, 65…  So that I’m never quite sure whether or not I’m coming or going.  As far as my 365 is concerned, I thought I could keep this from happening by keeping a running list of my days written in a notebook.  Well, lo and behold, I did the same thing on my running list in the notebook that I did on Flickr only on a different day.  So I had two mistakes that needed to be corrected.  It took me about an hour to put things right.  Now I’ve discovered that in my 365 set, I have 122 pics but I’m on Day 123.  I know I haven’t missed a day.  Can you hear me screaming?   I just don’t get along with numbers.  Well, I’ll think about that later.  Here’s my latest entry.

3)  I remembered that I promised you a look at my creations from last week’s Craft Night.  Here’s a collage of what I came up with.  The rose print is made from the end of a celery stalk.  Otherwise, I was feeling pretty geometric.

4)  The Titmice have been at the peanuts on our peanut feeder like there’s no tomorrow.  They are so cute.  It’s hard to begrudge them anything.

5)  Well, the Red Sox and the Cardinals are even up after last night.  We have this evening off from the tension of the World Series as the teams travel to St. Louis.  I think these teams are pretty evenly matched and who will win is anybody’s guess.  But I have to say that we had such an enjoyable baseball summer watching the Sox that, win or lose, I am happy with them.  Still it reminds me that baseball season is winding to an end.  Halloween is upon us, followed closely by Thanksgiving.  Soon it will be 2014.
  What the heck?  Where does it go?



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Keeping a sharp edge…

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.
  That doesn’t happen much though.

~J. D. Salinger, A Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger said it much better than I could although it seems to happen to me more often than it did to Holden Caulfield.  Because I sure wish I could call George R. R. Martin, Haruki Murakami, J. K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Henning Mankell, Kate Atkinson and the list goes on and on and on and on…although I would be too tongue-tied to say anything that made sense.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday…

Here are this week’s prompts:  Watching, Leafy, First World Problem, Still and A Good Day.  And here’s what I came up with.

Olive the pug.  She’s always on the alert when she’s not asleep.  That's because she's kind of a little wimp.  Here’s she’s watching something that’s going on in the yard.  My guess is that she saw a leaf blow by and figured it was some kind of pug-getting monster.

Well, finding a shot for leafy is not a problem here right now as we are in the midst of fall.  I found this branch on the ground a couple weeks ago and decided that it is just as beautiful as a bunch of flowers.  It has been sitting on my kitchen sink since.  I love looking at it.

Now, here’s a First World Problem.  I have a love/hate relationship with my iPod.  I love that I can listen to books just about anywhere I am, but I hate that when I touch the darn thing while listening to a book, I often skip to the next chapter and then have to back up and listen to the chapter I was on all over again.  The touch screen is just too sensitive.  While this doesn’t happen all the time, it happens often enough that this iPod should feel ashamed of itself.  Also, while we’re on the subject, if I don’t get the darn thing securely clipped to something in my purse, it falls to the bottom of my bag and I panic thinking I lost it and won’t get to finish my book.  I just liked my first iPod a lot more and wish it hadn’t crapped out.

Here’s an autumn reflection in still water.

What started out as a bad day this week turned into a good day for taking pictures.  It’s a long story of me starting out to go somewhere when the battery in my smart key died (a first world problem if there ever was one) and ended up with me stopping at the pond when it was beautifully flat and still.
  What an autumn we’ve had!



Friday, October 18, 2013

Random thoughts…

1)  I love fall!  We have had a lovely one and though usually by this time, the leaves are down, they are still hanging in and are still gorgeous.

Both far away...

And up close...

2)  Today, I was out with Greg.  It was such a beautiful day, I had the window down when we stopped at the ATM.  Have you ever noticed what a nice sound it is when the fall leaves scuttle across the pavement?  I think it is just wonderful.  That would make a nice white noise recording to help me sleep.

3)  These days you see pumpkin stuff everywhere.  You see pumpkin beer – meh.  You see pumpkin martinis – not on your life – why ruin such a good thing?  Pumpkin pie – well, it’s okay but not my favorite.  But earlier this week, I had a superb cup of pumpkin bisque at one of the local establishments.  Now, that’s what to do with pumpkin!

4)  A few years ago, I bought a peanut feeder for the birds.  This feeder has large holes in it so it can be filled with whole raw peanuts.  I quit using it because when the squirrels could get at our feeders, they would wipe it out almost as fast as I could fill it.  Well, I’m here to tell you that the birds are almost as fast at it as the squirrels were.  I fill it almost every day.  It is rather comical to watch the little birds struggling to get a good flight going with a whole peanut in their beaks.  But I imagine they need the protein these days to get ready for what’s ahead.

5)  I’m heading out in a few minutes to go to a Craft Night at the church we go to.  Every year for the last five or so, a few of us have gotten together to put stuff together to sell at our annual Fair Trade Sale.  It’s a fun and rather messy night.  I am going to concentrate on stamping gift wrap with designs using stuff like the ends of celery and cut up peppers and such.  I’ll take some pictures and if my creations aren’t too terrible, I’ll share them with you all.



Monday, October 14, 2013

The Cabbage that Ate Sturbridge, MA…

A couple of days ago I got a call from our neighbor Doug.  He told me that they had an extra cabbage from their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that they couldn’t use.  They had gotten two, each the size of a basketball and there is only so much cabbage soup he, Sharon and Nick wanted to eat.  Besides it wouldn't fit in their refrigerator.  Did I want a cabbage?
Well, in my opinion, Doug isn’t really given to hyperbole, but the day he called and asked if I wanted a few hot peppers, I ended up with enough frozen hot peppers for a whole winter’s worth of chili and then some.  And we eat a lot of chili in this household.  But a cabbage the size of a BASKETBALL?  Yeah, right. Okay, I said, I’ll take it.  I love cabbage roasted, cabbage rolls, corned beef and cabbage...  I could find something to do with it.

Last night, while we were watching the Red Sox game, Doug came in and dumped the cabbage in my lap.  That cabbage, my friends, is the biggest, heaviest cabbage I’ve ever seen.  Thanks, Doug!  I guess I had better get my cabbage recipes out.  We now have enough cabbage to feed a small village.

Meanwhile, I decided that I should take some pictures of this monster veggie.  I don’t think that it is the biggest cabbage ever grown by a long shot, but it’s big enough to warrant a few pictures.

At first I thought that a baseball would be a good gauge of the size of this thing.  But then I realized that a lot of people might not know how big a baseball is.

So… With Evan’s assistance, we convinced Olive the pug to stand next to the cabbage.  She weighs about 25 pounds and may stand slightly taller, but she’s got nothing on this cabbage.

But, you know, while I was looking at it, I decided that it really is a beautiful specimen.

But I'm not going to name it.  Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to eat it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Back at the Hunt…

I’m not sure why, but I haven’t had what it takes to participate in Ashley Sisk’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday for the last few weeks.  But today I managed to get ‘er done.  Here are this week’s prompts:  M is for…, What you saw today, Corner, Pink and Hands.  And here’s what I’ve got.

M is for a nice, hot Mug of coffee at Sylvester’s in Northampton.

Today started out with promise and a little sunshine, but by the time I got out to take pictures, it was overcast and not all that nice.  But as I was driving along, this little pop of red caught my eye.  Here is what I saw today.

This week, I went out to visit my daughter Carrie in Northampton, Massachusetts.  We went up on Mt. Holyoke and caught this view of the Connecticut River valley.  Here is the Connecticut River turning the corner.


Yesterday, Greg and I attended the wedding of our son’s best friend, Bryan.  It was a delightful affair, casual and comfortable.  At the reception, we were each given a Mason jar with our names attached and were told “This is your glass for the night.  Fill it with whatever tastes right.”  I thought that was a nice “green” way of doing things.  I opted to fill my glass with a darn good micro-brew.  Here it is in my hand.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I go to random places at random times and post random things...

1)  I’ve been going to water aerobics twice a week for three weeks now.  Actually, I lie.  I hit the wall yesterday morning and could not convince myself to get out of bed.  So I missed one session this week. I will admit to feeling a little looser in the limbs, but getting up at 7 am is damn near killing me.  I’m not a morning person.  I’m not a night owl either.  I’m more of an 11:30 am to 3:00 pm type.

2)  The fact that the Red Sox have advanced to the next stage of the play-offs isn’t going to help.  I love watching the games but I just can’t stay up that late and expect to function the next day.  Still, I will probably give up functionality for baseball.  It’s a temporary thing.  But I’m hoping not too temporary as far as the Sox are concerned.

3)  Evan finally finished the fourth installment of The Game of Thrones series and handed it over to me.  I have gotten sucked in once again.  George R. R. Martin tells a story with such vivid detail that I can see it in front of my eyes as I am reading.  What a gift he has!  These books are also playing havoc with my sleep issues though.  I’ll go to sleep after just one more chapter…

4)  I got up early this morning for a 9:30 am doctor’s appointment in Webster, MA, only to get there at 9:30 and being told that the appointment was scheduled for 9:00.  Help!  They were kind enough to find a spot for me so I didn’t have to turn around and go home and then come back in about a month.  This is all about allergies and respiratory stuff.  Nothing serious.   But still, I appreciate that they made room for me.

5)  While I was in Webster I stopped by Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg to take some pictures.  Yes, you read that right.  This lake is also known by the name Lake Chaubunagungamaug.  But is most often just called Webster Lake.  Here’s the Wiki in case you’re curious:

So I will post a couple pics of this ^ place and a couple of just plain old fall pictures which have been randomly placed on my hard drive.

Webster Lake

They have a public beach at Webster Lake, however, there were no lifeguards on duty there today.  It's a little chilly.
Some sumac in our yard.
A blue-headed vireo I spotted the other day.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Prime of Life...

I'm not sure what this sumac branch would think, but I think it is really beautiful.  With that gorgeous color, I think it's in the prime of its life.  It may feel like its days are numbered, however.  But, you know, I probably wouldn't have even noticed it in its green youth.



Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Things You See Along the Way: Why I love New England…

Earlier this week, Greg asked me and Olive, the pug, if we wanted to go for a ride to do a little Leaf Peeping.  We both said yes, of course, and off we went.  I let him decide where we would go and Olive and I sat back and enjoyed the ride.

We headed up north toward New Hampshire where the leaves are nearing peak.
  Here are a few things we saw.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man...

Was there ever any doubt?
When we got close to Hillsborough, New Hampshire we saw a sign indicating that the Franklin Pierce Homestead was close by so we stopped to admire his beautiful house on that fine fall day.  For those who don’t know, Pierce was the 14th President of the United States from 1853 to 1857 and the only President from New Hampshire.

Moving on, we finally made it to Keene, New Hampshire where we had a nice lunch outside with Olive at a local establishment called Local and then a little after two o’clock, we turned around and admired the leaves all the way back to Massachusetts.

I love fall in New England!  It simply sings and dances with color.
  What can be better than that?
Nothing, in my book.

Bumper stickers of the day:  Do you think this woman likes horses?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


This Sunday, I drove down to Bangor, Pennsylvania to meet Greg who was away in PA on a motorcycle trip.  We went to say hello to his cousins Carlos and Cyndee and to visit with his Aunt Ann.  Ann at 90 is amazingly vital and interesting.  And Carlos and Cyndee are always welcoming and hospitable.  We had a good time.
That’s a beautiful part of the country near the Delaware Water Gap.  The fall colors were starting to show bright and clear.  But doing all that driving has left me unclear about what day it is.  I keep thinking it’s the day before now because I feel like I just simply missed Monday.  Oh, well…  But that explains my absence from the blog.

Olive, the pug, came in tied for second in the TripAdvisor/Facebook photo contest.  That’s fine with me and I thank everyone who voted for her.  The top 25 people get a mention on the TripAdvisor blog and the top five win some kind of prize.  All this was supposed to be posted on October 1 on the TripAdvisor Blog, but I haven’t seen any mention of it.  Maybe they went to Pennsylvania this weekend, too.

Who out there in blogland has been contacted by Feedspot and what does it all mean?

And don’t even ask me about the frustration I am feeling about trying to put a Facebook link button on the website I administer for our church.  I might just explode.  You know, it’s probably simple, but I just can’t get it right.

So, I am just going to post a few relaxing fall pics, sit back and listen to some cello music and let it go at that as I am feeling a bit confused today.

Along the Delaware River
I love the hosta when they get like this.
Here's a pic of Greg and his aunt.