Tuesday, June 28, 2016


New Yorkers are generally well versed in the times that traffic might be extremely heavy. This applies both up and downstate. It allows for a little choice - well, some of the time. But lately, there's no proper call, especially towards and in the city. I recently commented to Joe that no matter what time we travel to and from the Big Apple, there is never a break, once we cross the bridge. The six miles from the GW to our destination often takes well over an hour of driving time. Frustrating. 
Caught Anderson Cooper on TV, this morning, saying, "I've lived in Manhattan my entire life and have never seen traffic like it is now…" Thanks, Anderson, for confirming my observation. A lot of people hold the mayor responsible for all the construction work that is taking place. Sure, that can be a helpful thing in the long run. Thing is, there are no workers at many sites… just traffic-blocking equipment, road blockages, etc.
And then there's Siri. She keeps changing the route. On a recent trip home, she diverted us to different area of slightly-less traffic. For a few seconds, it was nice to have a car length between us and the guy in front of us; but that changed quickly. Not before I was able to capture the river in all its glory, though. Notice there are not many cars commuting into NYC at the end of the work day. 

It's brutal.

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Old Neighbor Does It Again

Just ask me how much I love Billy Joel. I know, I know; y'all are aware. Well, when Joe told me I'd missed something special on the previous night's news, he wasn't kidding. I tuned right in to (link) this fantastic treat. So you know, the Big Shot cover band plays with Billy at the Garden, during his resident shows each month. But the audience? They were clueless and sure did get their money's worth for that night out. I am SO jealous!! Furthermore…

Show me a Long Island girl who doesn't love Billy!!


We're having a few raindrops, so I tore myself away from the Great Outdoors to give CMI some much needed attention. Actually, we need real rain. Everything is dry; we've had to water to keep our lawn (Yes - we have lawn!!) from burning out and our new trees from failing.

But the weekend was exquisite and included many hours of being mesmerized by water. What is it about staring at water? This is a favorite topic of mine. If you've read my beach posts, you'll understand. Somehow, the lake has filled the gap left between ocean visits. Maybe it's because it brings me back to my childhood and our Massapequa home on Unqua Lake. Drifting away in thought and remembering the Dutch door my parents special-ordered for the kitchen… winter, summer, spring and fall, its top half was opened to lake views.

Wish we could bottle late sunsets for short winter days! And maybe bring blooms in to enjoy through snowstorms? Hmmm, that's not happenin', so I'll just give thanks for our gifts.
Topping off our Monday? Well, Bri stopped in and we had a nice breakfast together. This momma is a happy camper.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Look Who Came For Dinner

Sure, wildlife is wonderful to observe, especially when babies are involved. Yet, we don't encourage geese to bed down on our lawn. It was sunset time and we're sure they were entertaining the thought of bedding down.
The surviving babes (we believe this duo originally had six - that story for another day) are getting fat and have voracious appetites. They don't graze. They rip the gorgeous, well-nurtured grass out, root and all. And they leave gifts behind, if you know what I mean. Ahem. Careful where you walk. Still, it's intriguing to watch Mom 'n' Pop guard their offspring.
Later on, they hooked up with a growing tribe, swimming peacefully away. Lover-ly, for sure.
Tranquility on Golden Pond.

Giving thanks for another exquisite June day.

No Spoilers Here...

Just to say that Season 4 is quite compelling…

Twilight - Of Like Minds

As I stood on the deck to capture Joe enjoying twilight from his perch on the dock, he too shot what we both marvel at, nightly.
Yes, twilight on Golden Pond is always something very mystical and special.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Segue to Summer

Spring bowed out with a lovely Father's Day. BKAG brought the barbecue to us. Relaxing, to say the least. And Kelly took a stab at (link) Summer Daze Pasta Salad. It, as well as the entire meal, was delicious. Time really flies, both in reality and in carrying on traditions. Mom would love that her "old trick" is still being used in the recipe. And check out the Dynamic Duo, Ike and Mambo. But I digress... 

A truly nice day to celebrate our men who have carried on yet another tradition - that of being fantastic Dads. And not to forget Christian, who spent the weekend with Chloe at a soccer tournament. Kudos to Dawn for holding down the camp.

Giving thanks for the LVE and dedication. And forever holding (link) my Dad in my heart.

Welcome Summer.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mine ♥

Joe recently asked what I'd like for my July birthday. It is not my style to "request;" however, this year, I did say that I'd love two more trees - a flowering cherry for roadside and a weeping willow for lakeside. Signed, sealed and delivered. Ah, what memories… and meet our willow...

While Mom passed along her love for houseplants, Dad is responsible for my intrigue with outdoor inhabitants. As I've mentioned on more than one occasion, the Old Homestead and the LakeHouse are sprinkled with his gifts, even though he's been gone for so long. And what I don't have offspring of - well, those guys still live in my head. Yep, we had a magnificent weeping willow next to "our" lake in Massapequa. Maybe I'll find a photo of it. Meanwhile, though…

As I do every day of my life, I remember my Dad this Father's Day. My heart still bursts with love at the very thought of him…

And of course, there could be no one better than Joe for our lucky boys, now fathers themselves.

Herein lies the true meaning of "hero." How blessed am I to have multiples. 

Gorgeous June Part Deux

Yesterday, we went kayaking on a perfectly still lake that reflected white 'n' fluffy clouds, making them appear as snow mounds in water.
The cutest pooch came down on his dock to greet us, before taking a loooooong drink of lake water. He must have a stomach of steel to be able to tolerate that water. Sure, it's clean. But not deemed drinkable, according to us.
We always love viewing our LakeHouse from the water. We can't believe we've been here over a year, already.
Home, Sweet Home.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hillary - Is There A Choice?


Of course I endorse Hillary. Not because she's a woman. Not because she's Bill's wife. Not because she has no questionable issues; we all do. But simply because she's qualified AND I cannot utter the other candidate's name without boiling over. How have we come to this?

Furthermore, her answer to the other one's recent query was beyond perfection. Less is clearly more, even in making a point...

“You tell me: who’s better for the gay community and who’s better for women than Donald Trump?” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee asked.

Hillary Clinton's response:

Ali - What A Mind

Thanks to a friend 'cross the pond for sharing this vid with us. Please take six minutes to remember the Champ and ponder his (young) words. We'll forever need more understanding of how our fellow humans think and feel. From that understanding might come more compassion. Our world is a scary place, right now.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Ask an American to name his or her first thought at the mention of Orlando. Most likely it will be Disneyworld. The Cinderella Castle. Something fun. That was before this week, when triple tragedy struck. 

We mourn for "The Voice" singer we watched and her family, friends and fans. We mourn for the forty-nine killed. We mourn for their families and friends, all left behind to figure out the "hows" and "whys." We mourn for the little boy dragged into a lagoon by a beast that didn't belong near human territory. Thing is, the beast was home. Why were there no warning signs of the pending danger? Over the short bridge in SC where we watch gators, there must be a dozen signs. We mourn for his stunned family. 

It is just all too much to process.

For starters, I HATE GUNS. Imagine that the club attack was considered for this place…
Safety exists no longer, not even in Fantasyland.

We mourn.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Through a Child's Eyes

How intriguing the world is the the eyes of children. My most recent case in point is named Inchy. Aubs and Gav found "… the first inchworm of the summer…" and proceeded to create a habitat for him. Very cool.

A Sleepover ♥

Aubs came over early this past Friday, while Gav went to his first-ever dance. Talk about timing! We were afforded lots of special moments to do some serious catching up with our Sugar, leading us to the privilege of hearing all of Gav's exciting news, firsthand. The above pose was taken at twilight, upon our return to the LakeHouse.

Our boy danced! Really! Additionally, he'd been to the Museum at Bethel Woods for a class trip, that day; so, we got to hear all about his impressions of psychedelic busses and hippies. Since we were at the actual event, we filled in the blanks with our memories. Great fun. He was starving and referencing the next morning's breakfast, but how happy to know that we'd saved him dinner's steak and corn…
"G'ma, this is some mighty fine food!"

They were exhausted and slept in very late the next morning, so our "…rockin' breakfast…" (Gav) happened late, but with perfect timing to lead up to some boarding and swimming in lake waters. As he sailed off on the board, he said to Joe…
"G'pa, this is the best part of summer!"

We are truly happy that we can provide those feelings.

Aubs went home to her first babysitting job ever. It was a success. And tonight? We have a date for Gavin's Spring Concert.

Blessings All.

Muhammed Ali - A Charismatic Champion

We became fans somewhere in between Cassius Clay and Muhammed Ali. I vividly recall going with Joe to the closed-circuit fight between Clay and Liston. You know, the one that lasted one round! We were barely settled in our seats with excitement mounting, when it was time to leave the theater.

The next momentous occasion came when a dear family friend, Uncle Charlie, invited Joe and Brian to the then-world-famous Concord hotel to watch Ali train for a Frazier fight. Charlie loved our boys, always helping Joe coach Little League and watching their backs. He worked at the hotel. Needless to say, that was an opportunity to be cherished. It was on September 23, 1976, so Bri was just six years old. Christian, only three at the time, missed out, as did his Momma. However, Joe still speaks to the impressive size and stature of his all-time favorite boxer. The next day, Charlie surprised Bri with a poster signed by The Champ. It hangs to this day in my boy's office. Priceless. And bringing me to Gavin…

Way too young to remember the good ole days but educated by osmosis, he chose this picture for his Instragram post. I couldn't find one that better speaks to someone who spoke significant volumes both in and outside of the ring:
Rest in Peace, Champ.

Friday, June 3, 2016

They Suffer!

Mambo has spent his entire 9 ½ years with just one goal in mind; that is, to be next to us at all times. Thing is, we were always able to leave him to guard the estate; he was secure in the knowledge that we'd be back. Even an occasional kennel sleepover was not looked upon too kindly, but he thrived, nonetheless. Till…

He reached his current senior year. He has always vacationed with us, so that's not an issue. And, he owns the back seat of the Cherokee for most trips anywhere and everywhere. But we've recently had to kennel him for daycare while we addressed necessities in the Big Apple. (Many thanks to our friend, Kip, for stretching his hours to allow for said daycare.) When he developed elimination issues during these short stays, our pals at Rock Ridge diagnosed his condition as stress. Turns out Robin et al were right… Big Dog has a sixth sense for knowing when something is up.

This past week, we needed the help of Dr. Joe, as Mambo's issues became challenging to his health and our sleep patterns. Turns out, he has colitis. Yep. A good ole people ailment. "Why?" you ask. It's caused by stress, as it often is in humans. What to do?

Keep appointments next to grassy knolls and baby our buddy. For all the joy he's given us, he is deserving.

Photo credit to Joe.

So, What Am I Showing You Here?

This unfiltered, through-the-windshield iPhone photo is meant to demonstrate shades of green. Our mountains have finally completed their metamorphosis to the colors we await for months and months. Here, we have the sun rising over Wurtsboro, taken early yesterday morning. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Serenity Now!

Have a blossoming, beautiful June.

"G'ma, we have to keep this up!"♥

Mouths of Babes. My favorite source of inspiration. As Christian, Dawn, Hunter, Chloe and Lyla were leaving on Sunday, Hunter said,

"G'ma, we have to keep this up! We've seen each other three times in four weeks!!"
Make my day, why don't you, Hunter. Too sweet, following a fabulous day celebrating Joe's "big" birthday, the unofficial start of summer and Memorial Day, as we all remembered those who sacrificed their lives to afford us our glorious freedoms. And…
Mother Nature cooperated. We've had a run of exquisite weather. The fleet of kayaks was launched and the barbecue grill fired up. There is nothing like dining al fresco.
Other highlights? Chloe caught the first catch of the season. Mr. Sunfish was quickly freed to swim back to its very own blissful underwater existence. 
Lyla is just full of personality… still lovin' Mambo and giving him puppyloads of attention. And always ready for a pose.
A looooong ride with her Daddy proved that this little one's attention span is fantabulous.
So many and so much to be grateful for. My heart is full.
Yep, every picture tells a story.