Friday, July 31, 2015

Time for the Blues…

Here are the next installments of my 52 Week Project:  52 Weeks of Blue.  I think that these may show you that I’m have had some moments of desperation with this, but I’ve managed to get something every week.  Look around the next time you’re outside and tell me why, except for the sky (which I hope is blue where you are), there are so few blue things in nature.  Clearly, if I had been given the box of crayons when the world came into existence, there would be way more blue out there, particularly of the Robin's Egg variety.  But too late for that now.

Week 26:  Woohoo!  Halfway through!  I deserve a Blue Ribbon for that!

Week 27:  For Mother’s Day this year, my daughter Carrie gave me a set of origami Peace Cranes that she folded.  I tried to take their photos on a number of occasions and finally came up with one I could live with.  I love these Peace Cranes that she brings around now and then.  They make me happy and hopeful.

Week 28:  Truly a week of blue desperation.  I save the fortunes from the cookies when we go out to Dynasty, which is our favorite Chinese restaurant around here.  They sit in my wallet.  I find the fortunes to be pretty funny in general and picked the one in the picture because, on that particular day, it made the most sense of the ones I was carting around.

One of the ones I rejected said, “Anything you do, do it well.  The last thing you want is to be sorry for what you didn’t do.

  I'm thinking that maybe it should have said, "If you're going to do something, do it.  The last thing you want is to be sorry for what you didn't do."

  Or maybe it should have said, "Any thing you do, do it well.  The last thing you want is to be sorry for doing a shirty job."

  Those original sentences seem to be disconnected to me.  They should have separated them and saved the second sentence for a different  cookie.

  Of course, if you're one of those people who automatically add the words "IN BED" after your fortune, then they all make sense, but most especially in the third case.

  What the heck!  It’s all for fun, isn’t it?

...IN BED.

Week 29:  Greg and I went out for a quick lunch at Applebee’s that week and I was saved by this vehicle in the parking lot.  Thank goodness it was blue!  What a contraption!  It’s a motor scooter with a car-like body on it.  I picked the first photo for my project, but will put up another one here so you can see the inside of this buggy.  It's actually a better photo anyhow.  In any case, this buggy is kind of cool!

Week 30:  had me seeing yellow, because that was the week we went down to Griswold, Connecticut to see the sunflowers, but on the way down to Buttonwood Farm we stopped at Sweet Evalina’s Stand in Woodstock for lunch.   They have this neat old retro sign on their building and I decided to pick out the blue elements of it and do some selective coloring.  I’ll post it both ways.

So in  closing:  Anything you do this weekend, do it well.  The last thing you want is to have a blue weekend...IN BED.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good Fences and Green Grass…

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered.
 When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
~Robert Fulghum

A couple of fences I picked up on my comings and goings this summer.

Linking up with The Run*A*Round Ranch's Good Fences!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Life and Times of Olive the Pug: Taking Time to Smell the Sunflowers.

Thursday was a picture perfect summer day here in central Massachusetts, so Greg and I asked Olive the pug if she would like to go for a little ride.  She said yes, of course, and off we went down to Griswold, Connecticut to Buttonwood Farm to walk amongst the sunflowers.

Since 2004, the good folks at  Buttonwood Farm have been planting sunflowers in their pastures and for about a week at the end of July, people come to view and buy the sunflowers, take hayrides and rides on their cow train.  The donations they receive from the visitors go to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Connecticut.  Then, after the week is over, they open the fields to their cows.  Lucky cows!  I have to wonder if that's why the ice cream there is so very good.

  It’s a wonderful idea that has obviously become very popular because when we got there, we were surprised to see that they had a full house of people of all ages.  But that sure didn’t deter Olive from having a great time.  The kids all wanted to pet her and tell her how cute she is.  She couldn’t wag her tail fast enough.

We walked among the sunflowers enjoying the cheery color.

Olive, of course, had to stop and smell at least every other flower and she did stop to get petted a couple more times, too. Sometimes she even multi-tasked.  She’s pretty talented that way.

At the end of the path, we could go up on a slight incline to see the array of sunflowers from a slightly different perspective.

While on the hill, I spied these two little beauties who were all decked out in their finest sunflower regalia.

The wait for ice cream was a little too long at Buttonwood for a tired pug and a couple of tired people, so we continued on our journey back home stopping at the wonderful Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, in Moosup, Connecticut, where I got to taste cucumber ice cream for the first time, which I recommend very highly – a refreshing, sweet taste.  And Olive got to meet a couple of little goats.  They seemed to like each other quite a lot and were disappointed that there was a fence separating them from one another.

Olive ended her day by obliging the photog and posing as a purkey.  

How can a pug have a better day than that, I ask you?  It’s just not possible.  If you were to ask Olive about it, she would tell you that in life, it's very important to take a little time out of your busy schedules now and then to stop and smell the sunflowers.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Life and Times of Olive the Pug: Another Friday Night...

It’s certainly no secret that this is what a pug loves most in the world:

But on Friday evenings, a pug will give up a nap for a chance to spend time down at the beach.  The minute the humans start to say words like “cocktails” and “golf cart” a pug can barely contain her excitement and she might even let out a scream or two in exhilaration and delight.  She just can't help it.  After all, going to the beach for cocktails on a Friday night pretty much trumps all of a pug’s favorite things.  She stands at the door wishing the slow human (that would be me) would just hurry.

Eventually, we all get there and it is a beautiful evening with a slight cool breeze and no humidity.  Lovely!

Unfortunately, none of Olive the pug’s canine friends are coming out this particular evening and she is stuck with just having humans for company.  It's a sad fact of life that humans talk too much to each other and don’t pay enough attention to a dog.  That means a dog might get into a little trouble by getting up on top of the picnic tables.  Of course, she doesn’t have a clue why the humans freak out about that because she knows it’s going to be raining cats and dogs the next day anyhow and the tables will be washed the way nature intended.

Then she spies a couple of lucky dogs whose human knows how to make his dogs feel very special.

But by then she’s pretty sure she wants to get back to that nap, so she heads for home with the humans to take up where she left off.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Doldrums…

There’s something about this time of year that just gets to me.  I’m already a slow-moving person, but when it gets hot and humid, I definitely slow to a bare crawl.  This year it has had a detrimental effect on my picture taking and, consequently, my blog. I think summer always slows down my picture taking unless we’re traveling, but this year it has been worse than usual for some reason.

It's been like this for me for as long as I can remember.  I just really don’t like summer.

  I suppose there are those of you out there who could never understand the way I feel, but searching around on the interweb, I found that there are more people out there like me, albeit not that many. But it's a real condition called Summer SAD (Seasonal AffectiveDisorder) .  While I don’t think I suffer from it in a full-blown way, I do find it much harder to sleep.  The sun rises and so do I, like it or not.  Yes, we need room darkening shades.  I know, I know.   There are always too many blankets or sheets and not enough air.  I toss and turn and turn and toss.  I just can't get comfortable.

Summer is rather overwhelming to me in a social way as well.  Well, I've always been socially awkward so the parties and get togethers that seem to happen more frequently in the summer cause me a fair bit of anxiety.

The truth is that I completely and thoroughly hate the heat and humidity.  To me, the best day of the year is that first day I have to put on a sweatshirt in the morning and wear it all day.  It’s feels weird to me that when people describe paradise, they always seem to be talking about someplace in the tropics, sun-drenched, sand covered and sweat producing, while I always dream of places north.  I most definitely feel like a fish out of water this time of year or maybe a polar bear out of the Arctic.

  Oh, well, what can I do?  I have no control over it.

I decided that what I needed to do today is make the most of what is good about summertime, besides baseball, that is. Summertime is colorful and I do love color.  So I went out and took a tour of our yard and came back with these.

I did manage to accomplish something this summer and it is colorful.  Thanks to The Crochet Crowd for the free pattern.  This was easier than it looks and so much fun to create.  I love the pattern.  I think another one may be in my future even though I'm not sure what I'll do with it.

One thing that is very special about today, in particular, is that it is my very colorful daughter Carrie’s birthday.  My due date with her was June 21, but she waited until July 13 to be born, which was a Friday with a full moon, of course.  And yes, it was the hottest summer ever.  Of course, it’s always the hottest summer ever when one is greatly pregnant.  But I hit the jackpot with Number One.  She’s a wonderful, big hearted, quirky, intelligent and beautiful person.  Happy birthday, Number One!

Here's a photo of Carrie and her brother Evan (Number Two) taken in 1990.  Number Two isn't so bad either, by the way.

And here's how she looks these days.  Yes, that's a spider web in her hair.  I told you she was quirky.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Celebrating Independence Day – Walker Pond Style

Yesterday was our neighborhood’s annual Fourth of July party.  We don't always  hold our big party on the actual fourth, but this year since the fourth was on a Saturday, that was the day we picked.  I heard someone say yesterday that this was the 49th year that our neighborhood of Walker Pond here in Sturbridge has been celebrating the Fourth of July together.  I’m sure someone could verify that for me, but it sounds about right to me.

As usual, the day starts off with a Fishing Derby.  Greg used to chair that event but has turned it over to someone with more interest in fishing.  The Derby starts at 7am so I think that Greg’s interest in sleeping in a bit had something to do with it, too.  The Derby is followed by a road race at 8am.  That’s an event that neither Greg nor I have ever been witness to.  But the Parade is at 10 am and I don’t think we’ve missed it but once or twice it in the 28 years we’ve lived here.   Here are a couple of pics from this year’s parade.

Winner of Best in Show were this pack of Patriots:

We don’t have a Best Dressed Dog category, but if we did, this handsome pooch would have gotten my vote:

Olive, the pug, watched the parade closely from the comfort of our golf cart and was pretty excited about that good-looking bulldog, too, but she didn’t get to attend the party, poor girl.  She just gets too excited among all those people and smells.  And while it’s a dogs dream, people would give her far too many bites of their hot dogs than would be good for her, so she had to go home after the parade.

The day continued on with field games one of which is an egg toss.  We had a lot of participants.

This year a new event was added.  The Wellie Wanging involves standing on a half barrel and tossing a Wellington Boot as far as possible while maintaining your stance on the barrel.  Not as easy as it sounds as it turns out.

Here’s a neighbor in mid-wang (?). We were told that this Wellie Wanging is a tradition across the Pond, but I’m not completely sure I believe it.  Verification needed! 

It rained on us for a while so everyone got cozy under the tents and had a few drinks and eats.  But it turned out to be a beautiful evening and every one, including Uncle Sam, enjoyed the day.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Blue, blue, blue…

I have been continuing on with my 52 Weeks of Blue project.  Here are the next five in the series:

Week 21:

This is yet another great sign we saw on our trip to North Carolina.  I am finding it very hard to believe that we’ve been home from there for a month already.  Where does the time go??

Week 22:

When we got home, the Bluets were in bloom.  I think they are just wonderful, cheerful little flowers.  They are gone now that it has gotten warmer, but they are not forgotten.

Week 23:

I was beginning to get desperate during Week 23 because nothing was flipping my blue switch so I decided to take a ride in the country.  I found this beautiful old colonial house, Deer Meadow Farm,  that was built circa 1780.  Being close to an antique myself, I am way past wanting to live in an antique house.  Our fifty year old home has enough problems, thank you very much.  But it never fails to send me back to Memory Lane when I see a beautiful place like this.  When we first moved up to these parts, a house like this was just what I wanted, although I have to admit to being a bit more partial to the style of the Cape house than to the traditional Colonial.  I have to admit that these days all I want is a two bedroom condo that was built within the last ten years with all the modern amenities and none of the work.

Week 24:

“No water, no life, no blue, no green” is part of a quote from Sylvia Earle.  According to Wikipedia, Earle “is an American Marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer.  Since 1998, she has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.  Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998.”  I’ve seen two versions of this quote, the one I quoted above and used in my photo and this one:  “No ocean, no life. No blue, no green. No ocean, no us.” Regardless of Earle’s exact words, I think the message is clear.  The ocean and water, in general, is our most precious natural resource and we need to remember that every day.

Week 25:

Isn’t it so nice when someone gives you something out of the blue?  This beautiful little vase of flowers was a wonderful gift from the two lovely women who come to help me keep some order in this house every other week.  The charming pink roses have gone by now, but I have vowed to fill it with wildflowers all summer long and right now, it is filled with wild yarrow.  I love it!

Normally, I would be linking up on Friday with Tanya's Around Roanoke Willy-nilly Friday 5, but Tanya is taking a little break for the month of July to move houses.  Hoping Tanya has a easy and uneventful move and that all of you in the USA have an easy and uneventful Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Good Country Fences...

Here are just a few that I've managed to pick up on my travels.  Where they are no one (or at least not me) knows.  They are somewhere in the eastern part of the USA.

Linking to The Run*A*Round Ranches Good Fences!