Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Power Of Love 3 - Vicki ♡

We awakened to a magnificent beach day, last Sunday... perfect for visiting Vicki in Sag Harbor. "Out East," as the natives like to say, holds special treats for Islanders. It seems like a lifetime ago that I lived so close to the ocean. Let it be known that to this day, I miss the salt air, sea breezes and intriguing waters that stretch right to the horizon. Mr. and Mrs. Duck quite agree; they know where the best real estate in town is.
left double-click to enlarge

Special thanks to Vicki and Friend C.C., who gave us great conversation, a short djembe roll and a guided tour that took us past one of Billy Joel's Island digs. You'd never know that it is the home of a superstar. Vicki likes to excitedly tell the story of almost bumping into him, as he pulled into the road right in front of her, one day. She pointed out the sign hanging in his garage and visible to all who strolled by. You'll have to trust me in that it says "Joel" in between "Billy" and "Way!! Our popular Island boy has another place to call "home" in nearby East Hampton. And so it goes and so it goes...

We had a warm and wonderful visit, after which we treated ourselves to the beach, before returning to Hotel Kimberly. After all, what would a superb weekend be without an equally superb sunset-over-water?! A random beach-bum seemed to agree...

Give thanks.

The Power Of Love 2 - Michelle ♡

It has taken days to calm my emotions, in order to sort photos and write this entry. You might say that I was savoring the moment in time that brought us into Michelle's midst. As y'all know, she is one extraordinary girl, seemingly far beyond her years. But, as she says, "Cancer sucks," and it will force a child to mature much too quickly. Finally, after a year interrupted by recurring cancer, painful surgery and arduous treatment, our Girl was able to celebrate her exceptionally delicious Sweet 16. 

Joe and I felt so privileged to be invited to her party, where we witnessed pure, unadulterated joy amongst the scores and scores of her relatives and friends. Imagine these two words: emotionally charged. Yep, that's it. Smiles and tears mixed to form a level of excitement that was actually tangible... just grab the twinkling air...
We'd never physically met. It seems impossible, but it's true. Still, we picked up where we left off in our last correspondence. Amazing. Old friends. As a matter of fact, when we began to sit at a table towards the back of the clubhouse, M's G'ma Annette came to escort us, asking us to, "...please sit with family." 
Touching you, touching me.
Almost Justin
Highlights were many, as her Masquerade Ball began. The Princess looked radiant and gorgeous, clearly the center of her star-studded court. When "Justin Bieber" sang to her, it was magical. In addition, the deejay did a fine job with a musical range that touched the emotions of her significant others. Clearly, the words had special meanings to the celebrants. And then...
Mom Andrea
Brothers Michael and Marc
There was a candle-lighting ceremony. For each taper to be lit, she invited an honoree to join her, after which she expressed her thanks for the way in which he/she/they have helped her in this war she's waging. Hands were joined. Candles were lit. There are no words to describe this event. I was already a wreck, taking pictures of each recipient through bittersweet tears, when our names were called. Suffice it to say that Joe and I were overwhelmed. Imagine.
Read Our Faces
What else to say? Our lives have been graced by knowing Michelle and her loving family members. We treasure them. Thanks for introducing us, Kim. Here's to many more celebrations in honor of Michelle. We love you.
Daddy's Little Girl
Girl Cousins Have Smiles AND Healing Powers
Loving Moment With Michael
The Grands
Be Happy - Eat Cake!

The Power Of Love 1 - Kim's ♡

Never can I resist a shot of New York's proud skyline, this taken as we sped by at 60 mph.
Ah, it was with great excitement that we headed to Long Island for Memorial Day weekend. Kim, away visiting Keith and unable to attend Michelle's event, offered us her new beach digs to use as a hotel.
Kim's new and welcoming flower bed, gorgeous to behold... Poppy's hen 'n' chicks to arrive shortly.
 Upon arriving at our superb, sound-side accommodations, just the kitty greeted us... well, sort of. 
You'll be glad to know that she eventually left the safety of her hood to nuzzle.
Front Yard View 'Cross The Rooftops
The first order of business was to head to the water, a two minute walk 'cross the rooftops. Kim, if you're reading, I want to tell you yet again that your wise choice of real estate is enviable. Nothing soothes the soul more than the sea. The Godfather and I are so very happy for you. Thank you for sharing.
Hazy But Prideful For Memorial Day And Always

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Hero

Easy Riding
I love you, Honey. It's never too late for a boy-toy. Where's your helmet? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A New Breed?

Circa 2010 - Hoping for an update, very soon!

It was a great move, when I declared Christian's room my "office" and his desk as mine. Mac and I sit next to the big Window On Stacey, from where we are frequently afforded awesome sideshows. Twice this week, I spotted Jelly chasing a new Calico that seems to have taken up home-front residency. Interesting. They just ran by, out in the cul-de-sac. Any speculation here on CMI? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Worthy IDOL Is Crowned... Congratulations, Phillip Phillips!!

What a thrilling finale, culminating a most amazing season of "American Idol"! IDOLS merged on stage, as my own Mr. D. joined the boys and Phillip sang with John Fogerty. Diamond and Creedence fare never, ever gets old... well, except for Caroline, who is ancient and weak. Neil Diamond, won't you please lose her, this tour? I digress... 

Our winner was teary-eyed and barely able to work his way through "Home", again. So, we'll just have to await its rise to the top ten, sometime very, very soon.

I'll be missing all the talented kids and my favorite judge, who performed a tad of dynamite rock 'n' roll, too.


Guilty Pleasures Merged

So, I was reading FIFTY, the other day, when my DrawSomething game beeped. I wandered on over to the virtual world to play a Michigan opponent, with whom I've had a relationship for some time. When it was my turn to draw, I selected the word "puppet" and proceeded to sketch a stage with a character dangling by his arms from its imaginary ceiling. My gal-pal guessed correctly and then messaged me, "Jeesh, at first I thought it was someone chained down to a bed - I guess I'm reading too much FIFTY!" Hey, you've just got to stay current, ya know? 'Twas a funny coincidence...

Oooh-kay, back to the book. Yep, it's as raunchy as you've heard; but I was told that the second and third books delve into what makes Mr. Grey tick, a fact that possibly justifies the read?? The thinking is that the works then qualify for a more worthwhile status, possibly bumping them from porn (my rating) to romance??? Never, as in not ever, could they be classified as literature.

I started FIFTY right after finishing LITTLE BEE, a book I'd promised to review a little more thoroughly but never did. It was terrific. It is classified as literature. Really. Chris Cleave is a master wordsmith. He applies his well-honed craft to telling the story of two women, each a narrator. The reader gets to know them well... how they think, speak, react and yearn. Little Bee is always considering her options for "checking out" of life, if need be... an interesting characteristic in a complex character. Each woman desires a sense of peace. They unite in an unlikely bond, each with her goal well preserved, subconsciously. It's a great read, one I highly recommend. I'll bet my iPad contains fifty saved notes of phrasing that I'll read and reread, over the years, from this book alone.


Get this... 

No sooner had I typed the first three paragraphs, when in rolled Bri and the local KidGrands. We crammed a lot into an hour, including a little djembe playing. Thing is, I've got two drums here; we needed a third. Not to worry. We used the drum app on... yep, you guessed it... my iPad. Guilty pleasures merged.

Call Me Mellow Yellow

Not too sure about these results, but what the hey... Gran's bowl needed a touch of color and it doesn't get quicker, easier or cheaper than what you see. I stapled the "petals" to a center coffee filter, put them in the sink and poured paint over them. After soaking, twisting, swirling and blotting on newspaper, I put cookie cooling racks into use. Then, it was a huge scrunch around some past paper results, a tie with rubber-bands, and a stake with a wooden skewer. Voila! 
Nice thing is, if I'm sick of looking at them by next week, there's no guilt. 
What would one call this variety of wildflower?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My IDOL Votes To Phillip Phillips... Bring It "Home"!

Can You Hear My Rainy Day Song? nd

Today's rain is of the warm and gentle variety, perfect for watering all the babes we planted, this past weekend. And speaking of babes, how sweet to find this love note, tucked underneath my iPad's Zaggmate.

When Christian was here with the KidGrands, a couple of weeks ago, Hunter's dilemma became one of where to do his early morning artwork. His Daddy reclaimed his old room, the one I use for an office. It's where all the neat old and new art supplies reside. But Uncle Brian's old digs are right next door, so it was just a matter of moving stuff. Before doing so, Hunter had already formulated his plan to write and illustrate notes to all of us; he knew just what he'd be needing. Here, I share mine. It came signed, sealed and delivered in its own special envelope, with heart and star cut-outs included. It is clearly a love song, be it a rainy or sunny day one.
The sun is shining in my heart... I love you to the moon, Sweet Boy. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

LIM - Orange For Dinner

So, y'all have probably noticed that shades of orange are huge, this year. As it applies to food, it's a color that translates to nutritious. I lightened up our wintry fish dishes by switching to a breading of corn and matzoh meals. Panko crumbs are clearly spectacular, but can often translate to a sizable portion of bread. 

You know the gig: egg(white), bread, spritz, spice and settle in on a bed of thinly sliced sweet potatoes that have also been seasoned. It all bakes in half an hour at about 350˚. Serve with a salad of contrasting greens.

Buon Appetito!

Reflecting On Reflections

Yesterday, I was planting underneath our half-a-tree, the (link) Japanese Maple. When I glanced upwards, there was its beautiful reflection, in all its red glory! 'Twas Camera Time, once again.

Robin Gibb 1949-2012

Getty Image
I join music lovers worldwide, in mourning the loss of Robin Gibb. His family has my heartfelt sympathy. Three of four beautiful sons, brothers, husbands, fathers and friends to the world were all done way, way too soon. 

Last night, upon hearing of his death, I immediately posted a YouTube vid of "I Started A Joke", a song that I can play in my mind, without visual or audio aids. Et vous? I decided, instead, to share this video, wherein he speaks to his segue from the genre for which we know him best. Please be sure to find and listen to "Don't Cry Alone", after first hearing Mr. Gibb reflect upon his aim to have his music touch our very spirits. For me, he succeeded brilliantly.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Missing Our Pals Of The OBX

Favorite OBX Capture of 2011

Ah, here's my favorite capture from last May. We are needing the serenity of our OBX beaches and their resident equines, but you know the gig - tough times for Madre, right now, so we're kind of needing to be close by. Furthermore, who's to complain, when so many are facing far worse challenges? Here's a little reminder of that very fact:

Today, I met a few horses of a different variety. Along with their humans, they help kids like Beau to stay sane and happy in dealing with extraordinary challenges. How incredibly inspiring are these new acquaintances?! They are fiercely driven, just like Pretty Boy, to the left.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's A Maple-Seed World

Our new gardener... you know, the one who arrived Just In Time, post below... is very aware of his surroundings. Having just studied the topic of germination in school, he is quite intrigued by the gazillions of helicopters flying through the sky. He planted them all over the place. I brought to his attention the babies of red (ornamental Japanese/Lace-Leaf) and green (indigenous) that seeded themselves naturally. "G'ma, do you think my seeds will grow?"
A weekend visitor inquired as to "Why?" the pool is not yet opened; after all, the weather has been gorgeous. Ah, we must wait for all the seeds to descend... and then... and then...

We must wait for all their filter-clogging stems. And then, it shall be time to reveal aqua blue.
Hunter loves to help. After much begging and pleading, and with boatloads of supervision, he push-mowed the confined pool area. Tractors are for fun; push mowers are for the hard-working. Again, not to worry... release the handle and TORO shuts down - an important safety feature. I digress...

By some miracle, there is some planet Earth that is not covered by maple trees. Just look at the blooming Rhododendron, as it reflects in winter's seedy pool cover. Gotta love Mother Nature.


Well, it's down to the wire. For us, Joshua Ledet clearly won the night, yet again. Joe and I are wishing him into the finals and would like to see him win the whole shebang; but...

Previous years and statistics seem to dictate a winner in Phillip Phillips... he's terrific in his chosen genre, he is clearly very cute... and he plays guitar. Guitar. Ask Kid Rock why he chose the instrument and he'll tell you that it's traditionally a means to girls' hearts (and votes?). Have to note here that I did not appreciate his (Phillip's) father's packin' appearance. Might have been nice if he'd removed the pistol for the homecoming. Not impressed, except in a negative way. Will this cause him to lose a few votes? Joe thinks he should leave, based on performance.

 Jessica Sanchez has a brilliant voice, but is so young and seems to lack the emotion that immortalizes already great songs... just my opinion, of course, and I'm all for her departure.

AP Photo

Adam Lambert shall return to the IDOL stage tonight. Perfect. He's a primary example of the fact that one never knows what the show's outcome shall be. Second place worked for him, though... it's not everyone who can fill Freddie's shoes. 

Well, Joshua did not make the cut, leaving the final round to Jessica and Phillip. I guess I did call attention to Phillip here, at the very beginning of the season. Perhaps that counts for something; but we are so disappointed. A mega-classy 20-year-old, Joshua brought his Mom up on the farewell stage and repeated his spectacular rendition of James Brown's "It's A Man's World". 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sick Day... No, Really... A Sick Day :-)

Gavin spiked a high fever, the other night, so he came to hang out here, yesterday. It was teeming rain, outside, and thus we designated it a Pajama Day For Movie-Watching. And we watched... and watched... and watched... NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S ***"Really Wild Animals"*** and "The Chipmunks Chipwrecked" and "Despicable Me". Actually, I recommend all three... no kidding!!

"G'ma, I can't believe we watched THREE movies!"

"Honey, I'm exhausted from doing nothing. I haven't watched that much TV since I was YOUR age!"
"Gavin, there shall be NO leaping from the furniture!!!" said I, as I returned to the room with snacks.
But y'all know that you can't keep a good man down. So, when couch-cuddling got tiresome and energy levels were bursting, the G-Man built himself a few forts. When they collapsed, he switched to obstacle courses. Couldn't help but reminisce about the good ole days when Ronnie and I executed our own architectural skills. We were supposed to be doing chores on Saturday mornings, but sofa cushions held much more interest, if ya know what I mean.

Problem is, Gavin is still sick and received a double diagnosis, today... strep AND the flu. Am I doomed? If so, he'll have to come back to nurse me for a day.

***"Oh, whaddya want for lunch...whaddya want to munch?
How 'bout some fruit bunch... or somethin' with lots of crunch?
Just give me a bunch of lunch... crunchy, munchy lunch..."***