Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dear Konrad....

There shall soon be Snap Pea Pods of the 
German variety coming to fruition in NY...

We're enjoying every minute of bloom, as we await their arrival...

'Danke' to You and our lovely Friend who shares so well.

**Please left double-click photo to see little white flowers.**

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oh, Beautiful.......

The breeze took its time sending Old Glory in just the right direction today. It was well worth the wait to capture this vision in Spacious Skies. 

Meet Chipper And Flipper...Or Is It Skipper?

When the grandkids visited the following weekend, of course he tried to pull the same joke. Aubs handled it well, finding the little guys cute, and helping Gramps in naming them.  Let's see, is it Chipper and Flipper; or Flipper and Skipper; or maybe Chipper and Skipper? Looks like they're staying!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The New 3-R's

Rainforest Replaces Rising Sun
The Special Effects Of Monsoon Season

Gentle Giants

Thanks to PV & R for the forward that initiated a search that uncovered this website. Our own Gentle Giant would like to share it with Steven, MaryAnn and all pooch lovers. We hope its contents bring lots of smiles to your faces: BeMyFriend

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Next Up On The Needles

Allium Inspired

The Rebel In Our Garden

Analogous to those who resist control and convention is the Bugleweed plant; personification at its best!  Almost forty years ago, Joe and I chose it as a ground cover, disguised by its more attractive name, Ajuga.  After two summer seasons, we realized that it was not about to confine itself to the areas we chose; it worked its way into our lawn, but not our hearts.  We began pulling it and tossing it deep into the woods surrounding our home. Ah, yes; almost forty years ago. We now find beauty in the weed, for it has persevered.

"But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people's idea, not nature's." Anonymous

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Little TLC Goes A Long, Long Way!

The pretty Easter centerpiece pictured in my April 11th post is surely the gift that keeps on giving!

Camphor Flakes - Dispelling The Moth Myth

Boomers such as myself were raised to believe that every spring and fall, one's closet needed to be "changed over".  The process entailed considerable labor, with all clothing items having to be laundered and folded away to make room for the next season's worth of adornment. To compound the procedure, my beloved Gran (with whom I shared a bedroom, but thankfully not a closet) put some gross-smelling camphor flakes into the old Electrolux and reverse-vacuumed the fumes into the sacred space that housed her clothes. Moth larvae didn't stand a chance. I vaguely recall having made a childhood vow to myself regarding camphor flakes.

When we finished our own basement many moons ago, we had quite the cedar closet built in, allowing us to switch with relative ease. That approach worked for awhile...until the climate began to change. Global warming? Whatever; I clearly remember a turning point in my thinking:

My Mom and two of her very glamorous friends visited during an early fall month, way back in the seventies. Their closets had been dutifully prepared. Their wardrobes offered nothing cool and light.  It was a rare (at that point in time) 90-degree day. Each looked fabulous in her long wool skirt, tights, boots, and layered sweater, blouse and scarf....VOGUE-worthy, for sure!  But, as they sweltered, I experienced a lightbulb moment, deciding that some myths needed to be dispelled.  Did I want to inflict this custom on my kids?

Can allowing a tank top to share space with a ski sweater actually thwart one's ability to succeed in life? I think not, and I've never seen a clothing moth!  Momma Nature seems to emphatically agree. "The Switch" is a waste of time, if her worldly messages mean anything.  

Two nights ago, it was 82 degrees in our upstairs bedrooms, necessitating the use of air conditioning.  Last night, it was 52 degrees in the same location........

You know the rest!  As chilly waters rain upon my garden, the sun not due to return for three days, I find solace in the ability to grab a sweater from my multi-seasonal wardrobe.

CHEERS TO YOU, regardless of what season you're wearing today! 

PS - Mom still "changes over".....gotta luv her. xo

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Host & Hostess With The Most & Mostest!

Fish Story....Boy Meets Biting Bass

As fish stories go, this is a cute one, we think. Our littlest Grandson was excited to hit the lake with Gramps, while his Big Sis and I prepared for a birthday party. He did look a little startled when I gave him a huge send-off hug and told him to have fun "catching dinner" with G'pa.  Uh-oh; big mistake there!

Off to the lake went the men, first stopping for worms. Digging them from their dirt-y home was fine and fun for this four-year-old adventurer.  Now, before I get to the fish, you must understand one thing:

Our lake has never produced anything but lots and lots of little sunfish; our Sons will attest to that!  So, imagine Joe's surprise when the bass started biting. Well, Little One wanted no part of the fish, wouldn't touch them, and got upset when he really CAUGHT a fish.  Maybe he was worried that I wasn't kidding? But not to worry.....

Gleefulness returned upon the release of Mr. Bass and friends.  G'pa reports that watching them swim away was the best part of "the catch" for our little free-spirited Grandson. After three biting bass ("REALLY?"), worms became boring and tossing balls of bread to feed the Sunnies seemed to be more fun!

When I showed Daddy Bri this pic, his comment was identical to mine, "REALLY? That fish came from OUR lake?"

Go figure.

LOOK! A New Day Has Begun....

Monday, May 25, 2009

G'pa Celebrates 53?

Whatever the number, he's the most awesome husband, father, grandfather and friend a family could ask for. Celebrations are in order, of course; and a very special cake was lovingly baked. Well, suffice it to say that whatever was left of the batter was baked! 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And Still We Imagine In Remembering Our Fallen

Peaceful Encounter

Next to staring out at the sea, is there anything more peaceful than watching horses graze?  We stopped to say "Neigh!" to these guys yesterday, during an incredibly enjoyable ride through the countryside.  They immediately trotted over to us for some lovin'.  So friendly, why the muzzles?  Of course I needed to know the answer; and for those as in the dark as I, they are feeding muzzles.  Their purpose is to keep Mr. Ed from consuming too much grassy chow.  But the happy equines can drink as much water as they please. Clever.  Is there a human model?

Palomino or doesn't matter.  "A horse is a horse, of course, of course...."  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Withdrawal And Almost-Summer Nights

All of our shows wound down this past week:

Joe's:  "24" (what will the world do without Jack Bauer?) and "Dancing With The Stars"
Mine: "Without A Trace" (what will New York do without Jack Malone?)
Ours:  "The Tudors" (what will I do without Jonathan Rhys Meyers?), "American Idol" and "Desperate Housewives" (on its last legs!)

What to do...what to do?

Well, my Mom has the right idea, when it comes to exquisite almost-summer days and beautiful almost-summer nights.  Summing up her enjoyment of yesterday, she said, "I just hate to return indoors; I don't want to miss one minute of it (the sunshine)." Her sheer appreciation is infectious; and so...

Just before dark last night, Mambo and I returned outdoors to witness Mother Nature's Big Screen, leaving Ike and Joe channel surfing the Vizio.  We were rewarded, for sure.
"Woof! I like summertime TV."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Free To Be...You And Me"? Part II - A Serious Note

Our freedom to simply BE is challenged daily.  New York is greatly indebted to the NYPD, the FBI and Homeland Security for the thwarting of a deadly plot. Frightening.

Are We "Free To Be...You And Me"? One More Vote For Adam Lambert...

ThisLinkedAnalysis from the BOSTON HERALD was made prior to the final vote that elected this year's American Idol.  I pretty much concur with all it says, knowing that so many issues beyond talent factor into the choice of a winner. Though promoted as a "singing competition", the show often ends up as a popularity contest. In retrospect, it's hard not to wonder how far society has come in truly allowing us to BeFree, as Marlo Thomas wished for children of the Boomers, back in 1972. 

Adam's "uniqueness" reminds me of Elvis, so very different from his predecessors and scary to the parents of my generation. I struggled to have my parents accept him; they ultimately did, of course. Adam's "looks" remind me of David Bowie or Freddie Mercury, awesome androgynous performers from whom one never knows/knew what to expect! Black nail polish and eyeliner just do not bother me; period. The vote "against him" reminds me of Neil Diamond and how fans such as myself know he  belongs in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame, but politics have kept him out....just as the idle "Idol" vote had the ability to keep Adam from what I (personally) see as a rightful win, based on talent.  He rocks that talent, and I think he and it have incredible staying power.

Still, I am truly happy for Kris Allen and would never diminish his win. As the mother of two beautiful sons, I see him as a darling. This said and considering former "Idol" winners-by-popularity, the trophy represents just the first baby step. As Diane Sawyer mentioned on GMA this morning, the title win is one thing, but the "career win" has yet to be seen. I can only wonder, after watching Adam front Kiss, on what stage I'll be seeing my choice for the Idol of 2009. I'm not even a fan of Gene Simmons, but I smiled during the entire performance!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Congratulations To American Idol Kris Allen......

What an awesome Grand Finale to an even more awesome season of "Idol".  It would be tough not to be happy for the humble dark-horse winner. Kris Allen gained confidence AND VOTES to win this amazing year; and he won lots of hearts in the process, as did all of the talented kids.

The show was two hours of pure bliss, reminding me once again, "So much music and so little time."  Honestly, it was the concert of the year (okay, okay...Neil Diamond and Billy Joel were last year). Our Idols chimed in to near perfection with a long list of celebrities.  WOW!  I truly feel like the winner here, so please just
 Color Me Inspired!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I*DO*Love "IDOL"!!

Fabulous Final Competition leading to the last show of the season tomorrow night, and already I miss it.  Each year, these inspirational kids astound us with their awesome talents and youthful poise.  

Regardless of who shall wear the Idol Crown for the next year, my iPod will have many Adam Lambert entries!  For this listener, he makes everything sound
Gold or Platinum.

Exhilarating "Red Red Wine" (ND)

Image Upkeep In A Drowning Economy...Laugh With Me!

This is a must-read NEW YORK TIMES article for everyone who is struggling in his or her own way to minimalize in a beyond-strained economy.  It's all relative, wouldn't you agree? Please link:

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Boss For Sure!

In Rhetoric, March 11th, I discussed the offensive ticket scalping situation. Following up, TicketsNow, a Ticketmaster subsidiary, has oversold a Springsteen concert, in spite of the stand Bruce attempted against their practices. Non-existent tickets were sold to scores of fans, now unable to attend the venue of their choice. I continue to be outraged. Please read copied text and/or visit Bruce'sWebsite:

The Washington Post and have been providing excellent coverage of the latest Ticketmaster and TicketsNow outrage, this time at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Here are the full quotes given to the Washington Post's editor by manager Jon Landau:
"1. We would like our audience to know that this is a problem caused entirely by Ticketmaster and its wholly owned subsidiary TicketsNow. Neither Bruce nor his management have any control whatsoever over these two troubled entities but we deeply resent the abuse of our fans.

"2. There are what now appear to be chronic problems with how Ticketmaster uses its secondary market ticket reseller TicketsNow. For example, the abuse of our fans in New Jersey by these two interlocking companies required the aggressive intervention of the State Attorney General Anne Milgram.

"3. I feel that these chaotic, continuous, and extremely curious system malfunctions deeply and adversely affect our audience and are all the more reason why the proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation should be blocked by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission."

Jon Landau

$1.08 Goes A Long Way In This Poor Economy

In return for our REDBOX $1.08, the opportunity for lots of thought and conversation presented itself, as we watched the highly recommended "Slumdog Millionaire", profoundly written.

The age-old question, "Is it 'nature' or 'nurture' (or the lack thereof) that defines us, our morals, our actions?" underlies the story of a modern day Three Musketeers.  Another prevalent theme revolves around Professor Life.  Do we acquire our most important knowledge from formal education or from the experiences of our mere existence?  Thoughts of Robert Fulghum's ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN remind me that it's time for a reread. And then there is the wonder of just how much we really do plot our paths; or, is it true that "It is written"? 

There is such a fine line between fact and fiction; or is it fiction based on fact? As I watch Farrah Fawcett stamp her life with bravery and new beauty far surpassing her legendary physical beauty, I keep thinking of Ryan O'Neal in "Love Story", the 1970 movie that had our entire boomer generation abuzz. He is living that movie with his apparent one true love of a emphasized by his obvious devotion to Ms. Fawcett.  This after she had done the same, as he fought leukemia years ago. Only ONE could have seen this outcome for this real-life love story.

The rainy weekend's media blitz has certainly been a lesson in the human condition.  There is some controversial humor here, as the memorable line from "Love Story" tells us that "Love means never having to say you're sorry," while Robert Fulghum preaches in his book, "Say you're sorry when you hurt someone."  Ah, another day!

Sunny Monday?  Well, this is debatable, too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Know, I Know...I Use Too Many Exclamation Points!

 Gotta luv 'em "...on this! one and on that! one!!"

An Inspirational Recipe For Success

If font is too small, please left double-click to enlarge:

The Elusive Sun

It's hard to keep from chuckling aloud when I think back to the boys and my nieces doing their version of "Sun Dance" around the pool, when summer days threatened to produce rain.  "Oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!" was sung to elaborate footwork and mouth-patting, as they performed their little ceremony.  Any takers?  The rain is relentless, of late. If it's true that "G-d is moving furniture in Heaven when it thunders" (my parents!), well he/she must be exhausted this morning. 

Thoughts of the amazing George Harrison come to mind, and I hope to be singing his tune soon:

Friday, May 15, 2009

TGIF! Heading To....

                  A gift from Aubs and Gav

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"IDOL"...How Many Ways Can You Say "ONE"?

A favorite U2 song, sung to absolute perfection!  Thanks for allowing it, Bono!


It is astonishing to see this morning that the "hits" on my little blog have reached 2,000! I'm sendin' out some love and thanks here. It is so kind of my family and friends to share my musings and memories with me.....and....

Since I started Color Me Inspired on this special little Grandson's fourth birthday, January 24, 2009, I thought you might enjoy his heart-y artwork!

Lookin' Back

Joe and I must have taken tens of thousands of pictures over the years.  Just look at our subjects; how could we resist!?! BD, or Before Digital, we'd shoot fifty pics just to score that one perfect capture!

This day in 1979 is so clearly etched in my mind. Brian was 8 1/2 and Christian 5 1/2 years old.  We had already revisited Disney and were spending ten days on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  The boys needed to be covered up and removed from the brilliant sunshine; so, we went for a ride down the coast.  In the background, Clearwater is visible. Have any of my readers seen this city of late? If not, I assure you that the barren-beach days of old are long gone!  We still love it there, though.  With all of its congestion, once you are on that Gulf side of those big condos, the rest of the world disappears. The Emerald waters and frolicking dolphins are your guarantee of hours to be spent staring into oblivion!

My emotions run from my head down to my toes when I look upon these treasured moments in time. Truth is, they are etched in my mind's eye; the beautiful Kodaks just confirm my memory.

If you're reading, thank you so much for traveling down Memory Lane with me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

You'll Never Hear Me Complain....

....when the sunrise view Beyond The Bowl Of Bananas (April 24th post) gives way to Nature's Cocoon.  It is my time of year!  Big Yellow Bowl needs bananas, though!