Friday, September 30, 2011

It's About Being The Early Bird...

You know... "The early bird catches the worm photo." Yep. See that gorgeous glimmer of a sunrise, above? Here's the story:

Joe and I were each enjoying a first cuppa, at about 7:00 a.m. We could not help but notice the magical glow cast upon the colorful leaves, in our yard. Out came Nikon and off I went, into the brisk air. A worthy capture, wouldn't you agree? And then it happened...

After twenty minutes, dark clouds obliterated the beauty. Cheers for the Early Bird. Yes?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MJ

Really, I so wish he could just rest in peace, leaving us to celebrate his legacy of brilliant music. The Doc is not, in my opinion, a murderer... but he is guilty of being on the payroll as a provider of illegally acquired drugs, even if Michael was already addicted. A drug dealer with a medical degree, he was the final enabler, who shattered his very own Hippocratic Oath. I am in 100% agreement with Mark Geragos, in that this trial should be swift. But, it won't be. It is painful to see and hear the unnecessary evidence of... what, exactly? A tragic photo to "prove" that Michael was done way, way too soon? Taped "proof" that he slurred his words in an unrecognizable voice, when under the influence? It is brutally agonizing to witness his mother's pain, as well as that of other family members, especially his children. I'll never understand the genius that was MJ or his chosen path of self destruction. Will you?

Sticklers Only - FYI

Our humongous, handmade-by-moi wreath needed these; and I couldn't wait till late November to test them. They are nearly invisible, when unlit... see for yourself. Find them at the fantastic company linked below. Shipping is prompt, packing perfect, and tracking reigns superior. Highly recommended is 1000Bulbs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amidst It All...

Gone Awry
Partisan politics have the ability to make me nauseous. Though a registered Blue, I never, as in not ever, vote strictly party line, if candidates are unappealing... or lying through their pearly whites, while patting down their pompous pompadours. Yes, I voted for President Obama. Sure, I know the economy is a bigger mess; but I also know when to draw the proverbial line... when I'm forced to admit to what's not working. Still, though, I hold a glimmer of hope. What to do?
In Denial

Change the channel. Cheer up. What else? Find the prosecutor who primly pushes her perky private part back into the dress that's cut down to who-knows-where. Gotta laugh. It's the only salvation. Especially when the lady argues in classic style, claiming that it never happened, and giving a whole new meaning to pop culture. Ah, a vision, for sure. Don't we all have one or two?

May your (more grounded) visions and dreams come true, all under a sweet blue sky and enhanced by the best of health and a thriving economy. 

My Jewish half says, 
"Let's Dance. 
Happy Rosh Hashanah." 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Underbelly

Reward For Patience
Grooming situations occasionally go awry, when a pooch has hair in lieu of fur. You know the gig. Fido goes to groomer, all perky and cute; or, so you think. "Please give him a trim," says human. Upon pick-up and after the bill is paid, some alien looking creature is trotted out from the private confines of the back-room salon. Who is this canine who gleefully bounds towards you? Oh, no! Can it be? Is this my GORGEOUS Giant Schnauzer, Airedale or Black Russian? Thus begin the histrionics.
Shine Restored - That Wasn't So Tough
"I'm sorry," explains groomer, "but there was no choice other than to shave him. He was a mess... full of knots and tangles." Responds human in shrill voice, "That is simply not so. We brush him daily and his coat was like silk. It just needed a trim."

The ensuing ill feelings signifiy the beginning of yet another search for the groomer who understands Fido's needs. But, until you've walked in another gal's shoes, don't judge. I'm here to apologize... yep, going back about thirty-six years and beginning with the harried woman who groomed Baron. But for now...

Hairy Mound Previously
Missed
It's back to the future and my newly developing skills, set in motion by Mambo's ears, face and "designer" tail. Now? I've taken on the 'tween. Yep... the whole pooch. Every couple of weeks, I do maintenance. Keeps it easy, and his hair always looks better than mine. No joke. Then, I discovered the neglected underbelly. I swear, this dog manufactures hair. Or have these hidden knots been there, all the while I've self-praised? 

For the record, I extend kudos to those who forewarn, before going the drastic route. They do exist and are appreciated. Meanwhile, I'm wondering...

Is there something I can do with these hairy mounds? Hmmm; let's Google that.... WOOFSPUN

Monday, September 26, 2011

Growth Chart

Orchid Buds Bursting

Avocado Tree Reaching

A Love Story and A Love Story

Shakespeare twice? Yes; it's true. First, and much to Gavin's chagrin, came "Gnomeo And Juliet", Aubrey's pay-per choice for Saturday night. An adorable take on the doomed duo of old, this one is played out to the music of Sir Elton, who co-produced the film. Aubs had already seen it once; she quickly became our narrator. "I don't want to ruin it for you, G'ma, but this part is sad," etc., etc. Adorable. And the music. Well, you know how I feel about that. 

Moving along to very early yesterday morning, Joe asked, "Nick, have we ever seen 'You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger' ? It's a Woody film." With "No" being the answer, we quickly settled in to the weirdness that it Woody Allen. The movie kicked off with a quote straight from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Gotta luv a love story. Ah, meeting this cast of characters was certainly intriguing, as their tale of discontent wove its way through what is always the smallest of worlds. Were it not for an ending that left a lot to our own discernment, we'd give it **********'s. But it didn't quite make it to the required standard. Nonetheless, we spent a couple of enjoyable, relaxing hours, prior to heading out for Soccer Sunday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Bakery Birthday With Love ♡

Forever In Our Hearts
Things sometimes have such a funny way of working out. You see, our Bakery Day is on Sunday. While I set the table, brew a fresh cuppa and start the eggs and fruit salad, Joe heads into town for fresh rolls, bagels and pastry. So reminiscent of Sundays gone by, when...

After moving to Massapequa when I was nine, Dad began the custom of frequenting Lord's Bakery on Merrick Road, every Sunday morning. He'd buy a mess of dinner-sized hard rolls, an Italian bread and Mom's favorite coffee ring - the one loaded with pecans and honey. "But," said she, "I don't really have a sweet tooth." That's a story for another day. :-)

Every now and again, and much to the glee of myself and Ronnie, he'd come home with his and our favorite cake... an all chocolate, layered number that had the potential to pack on pounds at a mere glance. Mmmmm, I can taste that puppy as I write.

Sure, I have an especially awesome choco-cake recipe. And I bake it or a derivative of it each year in honor of Dad. After all, the day that delivered my first hero deserves a happy celebration. But this year, Bakery Day was switched up. In the flurry of events that consumed our past few weeks, we just neglected the tradition. So, today was christened "Bakery Saturday"... and...

It just happens to fall on the 24th. You know where this is going, right? I'm feeling the laughter and love.
And from my other hero, an incredible, incredible connection. I created the above blog and chose the yellow font, while Joe was hunting down the celebratory confection. On his own, he had
 Love ♡
 written on it, a shared sentiment for Dad. When the girl suggested a red or blue font, Joe thought for a moment and then requested yellow, a favorite color for its brightness. True story. Love you, Honey. Nobody understands my innermost feelings better than you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Really.Annoying.Incessant.Nuisance

R.A.I.N. Call it what you will. But here in New York, it has become seemingly endless. Many are just now getting comfortable after Irene. Many will be years finding domestic order and peace. As floodwaters threaten... again. The bright side? It could be snow.....

Thanks, Bri... LOVE This!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lurking... Really!

A Tree Grows In Wurtsboro

In passing through the Village, we could not help but notice this magnificent tree. A kindly onlooker identified it for us as a Black Walnut. It takes twenty years for this variety to come to fruition. Perhaps that's why we were previously unaware of its mighty existence?
We scrounged around on the ground below, to find Nature's rewards. When the hulls burst open, they release the nuts. Both products are very pretty; I'm envisioning a gorgeous wreath. Please stay tuned, for we shall see.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Day In The Life Of Ike ♡

Ike... 9/1998 - 9/2011


Our BabyGrands do not remember a time without Ike, who shared our world for an amazing thirteen years. This is a celebration of his feisty and fun life. It is a happy post, to be enjoyed and then saved for all posterity, when Volume 3 of CMI goes to print. Ike was clearly inspiring, in the love he gave so freely and the sheer joy he found so easily, usually by way of mischief. 
Boys will be boys!
Three years after Sly's death, we found Ike. When Samson's breeder advertised a new litter, who could resist? We went to "look"... uh-huh. We came home with Sam's blood brother... the boy in the litter who was constantly at the fence, investigating us and jumping all over the place. Thus began The Great Escape. Yep; Ike was undeniably the best canine escape artist, ever. 

If he couldn't go over a fence, he'd dig his way under it. Many cases in point exist around the perimeter of our barrier, where Joe placed mini boulders, one at a time, as Ike found each path to freedom. You see, Airedale Terriers are hunters. Bambi and his buddies were always hanging out on the other side. Such temptation! There's nothing like a good chase. Till his dying day, when he could barely walk, he'd check the gates. If we'd inadvertently left one open, he was gone... hobbling to the neighbor's house and beyond.

One night, Joe had left to take Mom home, when I went to let Ike in... just in time to witness his leap over the boundary. Within seconds, I heard a screech and then an awful smell descended upon the neighborhood. 
You've got it. He'd been sprayed by a skunk. 
The most comical of his idiosyncrasies came by way of chew bones. If we were away for a few hours, they'd disappear. So, do you think he devoured them? Nope. He'd hidden them, in pristine condition. At some point, we'd find them... under a bed or couch pillow or in some remote corner. Thing is, nothing... and I mean nothing... was disturbed. Bedding arrangements would be as I'd fussily left them, and the discovery of a treasure would always be a surprise... like when we'd turn on our tummies and slide a hand under our pillows, at night. Magical! We never witnessed this behavior, as it always occurred when we were out of the house.

Have I mentioned that Ike liked furniture? After he spun and spun and dug and dug on a newly upholstered set of chairs, we were frantic to keep him off of his adopted lounges. Bad doggie. I'd read that if you snap a mousetrap near a dog, he'll never go near the monstrous noisemaker again. For many years, it looked as though we had a major rodent problem, here at 26 Stacey. But not to worry, 'cause Chloe just told me that "...G-d loves you even when you're being bad." No love lost.

Not a great leash-walker, good old Ike had a habit of pulling. What to do? Take obedience lessons, of course. The instructor recognized his stubbornness and demanded that I put a prong collar on him, for future lessons. When I refused, Ike and I were kicked out of college. :-)

When Ike was eight years old, Mambo came into our lives. He was awesome in his new role of Big Brother, and they became very good buddies.
You'll recall Ike's surgery, two years ago. His healthy glucosamine cocktail helped to keep him pain free, since then. Though he didn't have the spunk for stair or furniture climbing, he enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air. 
We knew he'd tell us when he couldn't hang in, any longer; and he did.

His Fan Club of relatives, friends, our Grands and Mom will miss him terribly, though we'll continue to chuckle fondly at the thought of a life well lived.

We love you, Little Buddy. Woof.
This post is dedicated to Aubrey, Hunter, Gavin and Chloe, whom Ike loved with all his heart.

I Love A Parade ♥

Ah, the joie de vivre! So many cool things to discover, like the first experience of the cousins' campground... or a county parade, with Uncle marching... and that fabulous music.



Sprinkle it all with a slice and a scoop, and life's perfection has been attained. 
Wish I could bottle the enthusiasm and spread its rewards. God Bless America and my Loves.
video

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cotton Candy... Flavor Of The Day


Gimmickry

Well known credit card company mails an unrequested matched set including an appointment book and scheduler for Year 2012. Very lovely. At the bottom of the lengthy cover letter, costs for publications + shipping and handling fees are stated, to the tune of $54.04, to be automatically charged to account. Books may be returned within 90 days, for credit. The recipient... moi... calls the 800# to arrange a return. After identifying information is relinquished, we take care of business:

Rep: "How may I help you?"
Moi: "Please advise procedure for returning books, as I have no need for them."
Rep: "Can I first interest you in a $25 gift certificate to defray cost of books?"
Moi: "No, thank you, as any expense is too great for something I do not need."
Rep: "Okay. Please return books to box, tape closed, mark as 'Return Requested' and drop in a blue USPS box, outside of any post office." 
Moi: "Excuse me? I need to drop them in a specific  box?"
Husband opining loudly in background: "Why should YOU have to be inconvenienced in any way? You didn't request these."
Rep: "We see that you are an excellent customer. Since you've been inconvenienced, we'd like to offer the package to you, free of charge. You will see a credit in the amount of $54.04 on your card."
Moi: You don't want to know....

BEWARE GIMMICKRY.

Bouncin' Back ♥

Jeesh, we sent this hand-
some little guy and his pretty baby sis home... they just bounced right back to us! Gotta luv them, even though I'm signing,
Sleep Interrupted :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Making The Best Of It

Fall is my least favorite season. Joe's, too. It's the leaves. He's thinking, "Raking." I'm thinking, "Decimation." Barrenness is just a leaf-drop away, to last till crocus blossoms pop through the soil. Really, though, I'm thinking, "Another cherished summer bites the dust."

Dr. Phil could have some fun, with this one. Um, "Why not enjoy Fall's beauty and save the desolate one for your least favorite?" Good point, Doc. But seriously, there are a few more psychological points to consider. Maybe we can hook up on another day?

Back at the ranch, the antidote is to salvage reminders of my summertime favorites, as best I can. Occasionally, I'm inspired by a new discovery. Such was the case when I confined dried hydrangea blooms in a small half-bath. Normally, they inhabit Gran's huge bowl, in an open space. Who knew that when in close quarters, their scent is comparable to that of the finest floral perfumes? Beats fake Febreze, for sure.

Ah, the bright side.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Time So Long Gone By

Then...
Given longevity of life, Jackie would have continued to grow with the times, just as we all do. Is it fair to judge a time so long gone by? That was then... this is now. Food for thought, this article quoted from AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Caroline Kennedy says her daughters were "horrified" by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' old-fashioned view of the role of women in taped interviews released this week.
In the 1964 interviews with Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the young widow described her marriage as "a rather terribly Victorian or Asiatic relationship" and said she got all her opinions from her husband, President John F. Kennedy.
Caroline Kennedy said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that her two daughters were "absolutely horrified" when they listened to that portion of the tapes.
She said they asked: "Did she really think that?"
But Kennedy says the tapes are "just a snapshot of a world we barely recognize."
The audio recordings are being released Wednesday along with a book, "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Winning... Nadal vs. Djokovic

Djokovic Accepts
Okay, so the outcome wasn't quite what I'd hoped for, but the tennis was over-the-top spectacular. Last year's US Open champion, Rafael Nadal, couldn't defend against Novak Djokovic, in a rematch that had spectators off their feet. There is nothing like a looooooong point, and several brought stroke numbers into the twenties. There was even a thirty-something point. Jeesh! Sure I like power serves; but rallies are where it's at, for fun spectating. 

From Rafa, no smiles till match point...
maybe 
Concentrated game faces belie the mutual admiration and friendship enjoyed by these young athletes. No histrionics, when scores go awry. No rude, offensive outbursts aimed at umpires... just legal challenges, with outcomes quietly accepted. Class personified. And eloquence at speech-time, in this reversal of first and second places. Congratulations to a worthy champion.
"I'm disappointed, but Novak is doing
unbelievable things. What he did this year
is probably impossible to repeat." R. Nadal

Segue Synopsis

Glory 'n' Plumes
Though grasses are in plume, it's still summertime in our garden. We've made a few interesting observations, in consideration of this year's very rainy season. Here are a few photos, taken just moments ago.
Perennial Red Hibiscus
Hibiscus bloomed later than ever, thus not receiving its just due in poolside photo captures. Its cousin, the prettier variety of Rose Of Sharon, flowered late, too.
Gifted Impatiens
Impatiens grew all over the place, evidently from previously scattered seeds, 'cause I only planted a few.
Prettiest Rose of Sharon 
A lot of Morning Glory had to be pulled early. Why? Also from dormant seeds, it worked its way into just about everything, with leaves mammoth in size. 

Perennial Snowy Hibiscus
Everything green requires trimming. Just think tropical rainforest, towering foliage and elephant-ear leaves. Gotta love Mother Nature. I hope she's dried to the core and shall afford us an easy winter. But something tells me that we'll see plenty of winter-white.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Game*Set*Match To The Aussie... YAY!

Reuters
Just biding my time till the men's final when I'll be Rooting For Rafa. With his power serve, fancy footwork and Latin good looks, it won't be tough to watch the five sets I'm hoping for. Not till tomorrow, though. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

There is no one like Serena Williams to jolt a soul back to reality(?) after a very somber September 11th. She's arrogant in a win and beyond-obnoxious in a loss. Thus was today's horrid behavior. Not to worry, though, 'cause Sam Stosur whooped her in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Jeesh, couldn't S.W. just count her blessings on this particular day, by showing a touch of grace? There were so many thousands of tragic losses to mourn.

Tennis is a sport wherein fans often cheer for those who win awesome points, forgetting whom they'd like to see take the match. And there are rules of etiquette. Lots of them. Serena needs a serious lesson in courtesy and humility. She was shockingly vicious towards the chair umpire. She should be ashamed of herself.

Congratulations to the Aussie.

The Moral

The Heartbreak

The Remembrance

"The flag shows the Twin Towers in white against a dark blue background. The image is surrounded by a five-sided figure representing the Pentagon and 40 yellow stars for the people who died when Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa." More here.

Reuters