Friday, April 30, 2010


My tomato babies have taken their first steps, in being transplanted to larger quarters. It's exciting to know that the next move shall be to the well fed soil of the Great Outdoors. Check out the pretty drinking straw "stakes" and the dental floss "ties"! Hey, Necessity is still the Mother Of Invention. More "Thanks" to Christiane, whose exotic varieties of fruit are loving their New York roots. Did I just say, "Roots?"


I know, I know, " All God's creatures, great and small." I shouldn't discriminate. However, while lunching at the picnic table, I glanced to the ever-famous Japanese Maple. You know the one; it's where the bird feeders are housed. This rodent was staring back at me. Sorry, but red squirrels just creep me out - couldn't resist the shot, though. ALL Kodak moments aren't beautiful... well, unless you adhere to the above-mentioned theory. Fifty lashes for me, as I reiterate, "YUCK!"
(Left double-click photo for a clearer view of his beady eyes!)

Real Time - Thinkin' Pink

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's Not What You Think!

This time of year, I've requested that Joe please ignore sprouts in the ground. He attempts to help, by weeding; but even I often forget just what is planted where. One such plant has been growing rapidly for a few weeks now, and I thought it a weed... until today. Now, I see tons of little purple buds on it, reminding me that it is my coveted Silver Dollar Plant, also known as Honesty Plant or Money Plant, and scientifically as Lunaria. It grew wildly behind my Gran's summer cottage. As a kid, I was intrigued by its seed pods. Each pretty little flower turns into a coin-shaped, transparent pod. I'm pretty sure I once blogged about this; but I continue to forget that I planted some seeds a few years back. It is erratic, some years producing very little "gelt"... others, a bumper crop. This looks to be a good year. Rather than pilfering an image of the end result, I'll patiently await my own photo op. Meanwhile, the weedy-looking thing was saved. Whew! "STOP" with Hunter, taken last year at his favorite ice cream stand in his hometown.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Joke(r)

Human Nature ♡

The Feel Of Neil... it's what his fans carry away from a concert... see for yourself:

Sandra... The Face Of Grace...

...divorces the Face Of Disgrace... good for her. It's the only way to go; she's an excellent role model for mistreated women everywhere and deserves the best for herself. All this garbage from him, as they brought home a precious, newly adopted baby. Shame on him. ArticleHere. Will Elin follow the path paved by Sandra Bullock and Elizabeth Edwards?
Color Me Inspired

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IDOL Pizazz

Elvis once sang this fave of mine: (link) "It was a night, oo-oo what a night it was, it really was such a night..." . Tonight's IDOL was... such a night! I almost didn't watch, as I'm not a fan of mentor Shania Twain's music; that has changed. She has some powerful material in her catalogue, and the six remaining contestants did it justice. Shania herself exemplified what mentors should be, in terms of enthusiasm, support and genuinely useful commentary. She sure got my attention... and... there was not a bad performance. Everyone glowed; but I think Crystal, our fave, was actually the weakest tonight. It's all about song choice! I loved Lee and Mike and Casey and Aaron. I think everyone deserves mention. As Joe said, "You know America got it right when the six remaining are all so good. You just don't know who should go home." We both thought Aaron, pictured above, was astoundingly terrific. Certainly, the emotion he displayed assured us that he sang from his heart. Tomorrow's elimination is going to be tough; no one "deserves" to go home. It shall be reduced to a popularity vote, this time 'round.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Maybe Not So Frivolous, After All

We were too tired to concentrate on Henry VIII and "The Tudors" last night; so, we resorted to an old stand-by, in the same time slot. It's not often that I'd reference "Desperate Housewives" in discussing a mega-serious topic, such as that of nature vs. nurture. However, a redeeming episode drove home an important issue in the case of monsters creating monsters. Children born to cold, unloving parents suffer such severe psychological damage. How profoundly sad to think of so many from whom love is deprived. Kudos to the Housewives for tackling such a heart-wrenching issue. 

Big Beauty Bursting

It's cold and rainy in upstate NY today. Nonetheless, this gorgeous Weeping Crabapple demands attention. As soon as the sunshine peeks through, its blossoms shall burst to their max. We almost lost this tree, many winters ago. A huge snowstorm brought it down. Neighbors helped us to hoist and stake it. It's a hardy and hearty survivor!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful Spring Saturday On The Ponderosa ♡

How inspiring, nature's red, white and blue..
...affording great shadows and light in which to work at sprucing up the old homestead... a pooch paw is all that's visible from a sleeping mound... to errant sunflower seeds that have opted to take root...

...while azalea flowers open to their max...
...and close-by, Dad's cultivated lilacs are ready to burst.

Please left double-click photos to enlarge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Love ♥

Each day is an adventure, this time of year. Soon, our distant mountain range shall be invisible, as our cocoon of leaves thickens. Different bloomin' shades appear daily - always a surprise. It is so inspiring, Nature's palette. Is it any wonder that artists spend entire lifetimes in attempts to duplicate hues? Today, two-tone daffodils are fading, as Purple Gem mini-rhododendron/azalea combos open...
A suggestion: (link)THE GREEN BOOK. It's fantastic... the most amazingly easy tips for helping the planet. Who would think that ATM receipts can do mega-damage? Just multiply the simplest practice times gazillions of people, and Bingo... the planet is littered. This book is a great coffee table addition for pick-up reading.
Please left double-click on photo.

Universal Child♡

Idol Gives Back (link)... did you watch? It is always heart-wrenching, to say the least, as artists and those associated with the show find the suffering children of the world, bringing their stories into our living rooms. When you least expect it, though, an outcome brightens, all because of the click of a mouse and an affordable donation. I'm not sure if it's a Scottish thing, but Annie Lennox sure knows how to drive a message home; it is her segment of the annual show that repeatedly gets to me. Not to worry - she's not HIV positive, as her shirt depicts. Donning it was a move towards solidarity in the effort to help the afflicted children of Africa. If you have eight minutes to spare, this video says it all, as one Universal Child is restored to health. It would be wonderful to witness more happy endings. A mosquito net can save a malaria-threatened child in a distant land... a book can insure a currently-illiterate child's future, right here at home. The need is ongoing, but we can help... one child at a time.
"Idol Gives Back, the historic Emmy Award-winning television event and music celebration has raised more than $140 million to benefit charities around the world and across the United States." Please check out the link above for more info.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today - Get Twisted

Affording a pretty view from our kitchen window, up close and personal it is even more stunning and quite intriguing. A Mother's Day gift from Joe several years ago, the Twisted Nut Tree offers varying beauty, seasonally. Its bare winter branches are kept as such by trimming away all straight ones that might grow from the base; snow-laden twists are something to behold. Springtime offers blooming chains, way before anything else comes alive. The leaves that start in spring become dense in the summertime, hiding the pretty branches. It is the last to lose its foliage in the fall. We've yet to experience the first nut crop; and we don't even know if it is supposed to bear fruit. We do know that nut trees take many years to come to fruition.

We added a second of this variety in our pool area
and we highly recommend getting twisted!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hearts And Flowers Bloomin' Today

Amazing detail in Bleeding Heart... please left double-click photos to see for yourself!

People Get Ready

Unbelievable performance yet again on IDOL.
Crystal Bowersox... you go, Girl!

Kids Have Tree Houses And Forts...

...and adults have green-

Across the pond, my Gardening Pal is in Seventh Heaven, as she plants her "babies". There is just something so wunderbar about playing in dirt. I'm delighted to have permission to share the photo.

Soon, I must tell stories of The Fort that Brian, Christian and Friend Tom spent many summers creating. Till then, a good dig shall have to suffice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Raining Violets?

If ever you thought it not to "take a village" to survive existence, the interconnection we're experiencing now has surely proven otherwise. It's hard to believe that volcanic ash from Iceland is affecting world travel to such a enormous degree. The AP photo used here is incredible, I think.

And so, European friends and acquaintances are finding their homes and properties covered by black ash... as Southern friends are experiencing yellow, by way of a pollen cover beyond the norm... as airports are raining people - or so it seems.

We once had a bizarre "rain" experience. It was this time of year, when I had a surprise sixtieth birthday party planned for Joe. Several weekends before the anticipated date, Joe and I broke out in a strange rash, as did Brian (five or so miles away) and our neighbor across the street. Joe's dermatologist diagnosed it as poison ivy. Hmmm; no plants in our yard or surround-
ings; none in Bri's; and none at Jim's. Okay; we began treating.

Meanwhile, it was hard to ignore the pinhead-sized black balls of whatever all over our yard and driveway. Our skin continued to "crawl", after working outside, as the rash spread on exposed areas. Yep; you guessed it - not poison ivy. As it turned out, we had a mega-infestation of tent caterpillars that year. Teeny, tiny upon leaving their cocoons, they were either landing on us or doing something else on us. GROSS, I know... but, hey, it was raining whatever!

The party was postponed; helluva surprise! I'd much prefer the raining of violets, when April showers come our way!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend...

...wherever they are! 

First year for my finally-found Neil Diamond Iris plants. It would be too much to hope for gorgeous blooms this season; but then one never knows when it comes to the unpredictable ND!
*Please left double-click photo for a better view.*
The beautiful Neil Diamond Iris is available (link) here.
Put your order in now for fall  delivery and planting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lakers, G'pa & G'son... Match Made In Heaven ♡

I just love this court-side picture from Splash Online.. Neil au naturale and his gorgeous Elijah. Those smiles! 
And how about those color-coordinated outfits!
More photos here.

An Angel Returns To A Hero's Welcome... I ♥ NY

This Week's IDOL Picks

Crystal has consistently been on top for me, and her amazing rendition of Elvis' "Saved" was pro-show worthy. Always a fan of acoustic guitar, I must admit that her switch to electric was perfect here... good advice from Adam Lambert, who mentored last night. And, saved was Michael, last week - thankfully so. His "In The Ghetto" performance for Elvis night was haunting; brilliant, actually. I hope voters recognize his talent, as two people shall be eliminated tonight. It will be a treat to see Adam perform once again on the "Idol" stage.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Look Who's Hoggin' The Sun ☀

Gardening Update

Konrad's Peas are soaked and ready to go in the ground, with my ever-lovin' "Thanks" once again to my pal, Christiane. As for chives, they are waiting to be snipped and added to so many favorite dishes. Yippee!

Living Wall

Mario Batali's new SoCal (link) project is amaz-
ing. Will someone build one for me, puh-lease? I am salivating.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nicholas♡

The beauty of raising multiple generations of family in a small town lies in the longevity of intertwining friendships made and maintained for entire lifetimes. Our Brian and his since-childhood friend, Nicki, their respective spouses and children, continue to enjoy our locale... and this year, both are celebrating 
Jeesh! Along with her parents, we want to say,
"We just blinked!" 

We were privileged to enjoy a fantastic party last night, in celebration of the sparkle that we think IS Nicholas.

Happy Birthday, Vicki ♥

We Love You! Wasn't it just yesterday that four little cousins were playing in our yard???? We miss you! Come up soon.
MU-AH! xoxo 

Sharing Sentiments

Our Babies... innocent and pure in their love. It was so nice to have our little rugrats here for a couple of days. It was incredible to hear Hunter say, "Chloe, you know we're really lucky to have our Daddy, because if we had a different Daddy, we'd have a different G'ma and G'pa. Right, G'ma?" Can you imagine? Out of the mouths of babes.
When asked what her favorite part of the stay was, Chloe responded, "Going to Uncle Brian's house. He gives big hugs." Oh, my Goodness. 


(Please left double-click photos to enlarge.)
Day Two with our visiting, vacationing Grands was set aside for something special. What to do? A favorite spot to swing by is a local airport, used by private pilots. It is also home to glider/sail planes. Lessons are supplied and engine planes give "lifts" to the non-engine variety. We've never been lucky enough to hit a day or time when we could witness the excitement of seeing a glider take off and land. Well, Hunter and Chloe brought Lady Luck to the day! Within minutes of our arrival, a nifty red and white plane pulled its accompanying glider into the blue sky. The attendant afforded us a wonderful education, regarding the sport; and he patiently answered my gazillion questions.

Did you know that a 200-foot rope attaches one to the other? When the right altitude is reached and the currents are correct, the rope is detached and the planes head in opposite directions. As we watched the engine plane land, we watched the glider soar, dip, rise and turn. It was magnificent. Nearby, a hawk floated in his own space. We stayed until the glider landed; his trip was a short one, on this particular day. The longest flight-on-currents from this particular airport was all the way to North Carolina. Wow! How impressive to think that breezes and skill can transport one many hundreds of miles.

While Chloe was very busy charming Grandpa and our new acquaintance, Hunter was captivated and glued to his vantage point. Hey, you know what? Memories are sure made of this! Of course, the big ice cream cones that followed received equal enthusiasm... memory-worthy, too, when you're six or almost three. ♥♥


How awesome to have our distant Grands for a couple of their spring vacation days. Hunter kept counting the nights and days he would be here, as he confirmed that it was really happening. Chloe, her brother's little shadow, just reiterated to be assured that she heard correctly. We brought Mom over to hang out on the first full day here. It was brilliantly sunny and warm outside, generating heartlight in all. Can you tell, by her almost-91-year-old expression? It didn't take much to make these kids-of-all-ages happy. A couple of riding toys, an imaginary speedway, and a big black dog... that's it. 

Survivin' The Life

Sure do hope you remember my pal, (link) Michelle Gonzalez. Earlier this week, I received yet another surprise package from her, causing me to wonder, "What did I do to deserve this special human being and her family in my life?" I should be doing, doing for her... not the other way around. In a separate envelope came an invitation to a party to be held in Michelle's honor. Joe and I have never been invited to an "I Survived" party. Shivers of joy traveled up and down my spine and through my heart, when I opened this envelope. It is an absolute privilege to be thought of, as Michelle's treatment winds down, and she is here to celebrate the results. As I look at my springy feet and listen to my tinkling chimes and play my musical Somebunny card and read her letter and glance at the invitation, I think to myself, "What a wonderful child to love. Gracias."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Join The Revolution

Are y'all familiar with Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? If not, please check out his work thus far and consider joining in the effort. His (link) website is chock full of informa-
tion and recipes, most requiring just a handful of this or that. His warm potato salad is excellent:

Simmer scrubbed reds till done; drain and dry. Cut and dress while hot with EVOO, fresh lemon juice to taste, ground pepper, fresh parsley and chives. Give a toss and let it sit till serving time. YUM. Leftovers? Eat them cold...  or, crisp up in the oven or frying pan. YUM twice.

To Note: Steamed and chopped leeks work fabulously well in this dish. YUM thrice.