Summer Solstice 2018

Ah, the longest day of the year!  Celebrate the Sun and its Life-giving Power!  Except that it’s a very rainy day here…

Surely we should be in more awe of the Sun, the heart of our Solar System.

We’ve wandered far from the Ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Incas, Hindus, and Greeks (and Babylonians, and Sumerians…and just about every tribe and nation) who all worshiped the Sun as God.

Nowadays, we don’t see Helios in his chariot drawn by fiery horses, we see ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer, and we run for our sunscreen.

We know so much about the Sun’s structure, that some of the Magic is gone, but the facts are still impressive.

Even in the rain, we can be Grateful that behind all those clouds, that lucky ol’ sun is still rolling around heaven all day..

 

Peace

Fathers Day 2018

I adored my Daddy… To me, he was the strongest, smartest, and surely the most fun guy in the World.  Even after I grew up and realized he wasn’t the strongest or smartest,  he still was the most fun.

After his retirement in 1988, he would go have a few drinks at the VFW every Wednesday.  He got in the habit of coming by my house afterward, allegedly for a cup of coffee, but we would end up listening to music, or making music at the piano.  After a while, he arrived earlier and earlier, lugging a 12-pack;  eventually, he brought his uke and kept it at my house, and we had Music Night every Wednesday, drinking and singing and laughing, and doing the Charlie Brown with the Willie Break…

Dad died in 1997, 5 months after he was diagnosed with metastatic renal cell cancer. He still made it to my house for Music Night whenever he could.  Weeks before he died, on the occasion of meeting Melissa’s fiance’,   he got out his uke and played his last song…”and the band played on”.

He jokingly had me promise that I would take a 6-pack out to his mausoleum on Wednesdays, and one Wednesday about a year after he died, I picked one up and took it by.  I sat on the little folding chair in front of his drawer and sneakily popped one open … I thought how he must hate that cheesy piped-in music… I started giggling, the music got cheesier and went into–I swear!–“those were the days, my friend” ! That struck me as hilarious, and I laughed until I cried, “Come on, Dad, let’s ditch this place.”   We left together…

Dad is such a part of me that I often feel him standing behind me when I’m playing his favorite part of Maple Leaf Rag, and he communicated with me through Phish….but that’s another story.

Still, there’s nobody to sing with anymore, and I miss that more than anything…

Peace and Love to All Daddies!!

Picture Post

We had a great camping trip!  We had planned to stay until Sunday morning, but broke it down Saturday afternoon, just before the storms arrived….charmed…

Campsite #126, Harmonie State Park

Saturday morning, before the rain, we wandered the Antiques Show…  We made some new friends who opened a new shop in NH that is filled with memorabilia.  We ran into some old friends who recently retired and travel once a month selling their old stuff.

 

 

It was a great get-away, but now we’re catching up around the yard/house.  As soon as I’m able to stop, I want to tell you about our new plans and catch you up…

Peace

In the middle of the pouring rain…

Whew!  The summer-like weather has kept us Outside mingling our work and relaxation.  I’ve been away from the keyboard more and more as I rely on my phone for my internet fixes.

Just as the humidity was becoming unbearable, the rains have arrived.  I awoke to the rhythm of a straight-down-pour, almost invisible to my sleepy eyes.  I’ve spent the last week watering the gardens first thing every morning, so this was welcome.  As I was checking my a.m. routine folder, I heard a pop–or was it a plop?  I am the worst at following sound, always swearing it’s over there when it’s really over There, but it picked up speed and I was able to spot it about 9 feet away:  a leak from the roof.  Casey was still snoozing, so he got a rude awakening.  I put a pan under the leak and he went upstairs to check it out and place a pan up there.  Nothing can be done until the rains stop in a few days.  It’s always something, ya know?

The roses have obsessed me.  I think they will be all right (next year), but it has driven me crazy that they sit right in the front of the house, a testament to my poor gardening skills; they also look rather dead, no leaves at all.  Last year I experienced a similar Rose Disaster and so I had 4 “extra” over in the north garden that were unaffected by the slugs.  I angsted and angsted, hampered by my sick need to keep things symmetrical, and finally came up with a solution.  It involved moving all but 2 of the uglies, putting the 4 extras in, and filling in with daisies.  I’m Still not happy with the 2 that I left, but not nearly as obsessed.

Oddly, the one off by itself on the south side is just beautiful, no doubt due to my superior gardening skills!!

We had the Jr. girls over on Memorial Day, which just happened to be Michael and Jessica’s 13th (!!) wedding anniversary.    The grandies and I went to the zoo in the morning.  The afternoon was spent in the pool.  The happy couple joined us for supper.

When I get too anxious over my gardens and responsibilities, I like to take a walk down to the woods, sit in my thoughtful spot,  and admire Mother Nature’s work…it’s definitely not symmetrical, but its chaos is beautiful…

 

Peace

 

 

Sunday’s Sermon

Did you watch the Royal Wedding?  I tuned in about 45 minutes before the ceremony, box of tissues nearby.  What I saw was sooo much Love radiating from St. George Chapel that it oozed through my television screen.  After a day of grief and frustration, trying not to be angry, it was More than a Breath of Fresh Air.

You probably know that I have been a Prince Charles Fangirl since I was 11.  Before you say it, I never thought much of Di, so don’t go there.  The boys, William and Harry, I have practically raised…err..you know what I mean.  The Queen and her Duke have always enthralled me, way before “The Crown”.  No surprise that I have been intrigued with an American marrying into the Family.  It appears to me that Ms. Meghan Markle is seriously the Real Deal.  I loved Everything about the wedding–the Music, the Dresses, the Preacher, the fairy-tale ride in the carriage.  It was simply splendid.

I bet the Preakness and I don’t want to talk about it…

Saturday even found us at the Old National Events Plaza to watch Olivia dance…She gets better every year!

Michael Curry, the current Bishop of the Episcopal Church, was the preacher at The Wedding.  He reminded me so much of Hutch, our pastor at Old North back in the 80’s.  He had a decidedly Black Church presentation, and some of the stiff-upper-lip Brits looked at him oddly, but his Message was Exquisite.   (He almost re-converted me, but I’m staying a None for a while.)  You should catch the sermon on YouTube when you have time and check out his style, but just in case you don’t, here’s the text of the best part…

That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world.

“If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way.”

Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way.

Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce where this love is the way.

Imagine this tired old world where love is the way. When love is the way – unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive.

When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again.

When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook.

When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.

When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more.

When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children.

“Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well… like we are actually family.

When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.

My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.

And let me tell you something, old Solomon was right in the Old Testament: that’s fire.

He goes on to talk about how man’s “discovery” of fire changed, and continues to change, the world.  He concludes:

And he then went on to say that, if humanity ever captures the energy of love – it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.

Dr King was right: we must discover love – the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world, a new world.

My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you, and may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

How about a Big Amen on that?  All you need is Love.  Love is All you need.  Spread it all around…

Peace

 

 

Happy Mothers Day !!

My Mom has been gone for 15+ years now, and I have become accustomed to carrying her in my heart, consulting her in my mind, and frequently saying out loud, “can you believe this shit?”  I treasure the love we shared and what I learned from her.  But I mostly think of Myself on this day…and the old children that I mothered.

I am so proud of my kids.  Each of them has become a fine person, a good spouse and parent, hard-working and kind. They are witty, and wise.  They are truly my best friends and loyal confidants.  They indulge me in my Disney obsession, and take care of my tech questions with minimal eye-rolling.  They respect Life.  They are  Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.  They are funny as hell and there’s nothing more precious than when we laugh together.     

While searching youtube for some appropriate Disney Mom’s Day material to share, I got on a crying jag…not because I’m sad, but because being a Mom is deeply joyful and music can turn on the faucet of tears..

Get out your tissues and see if you agree.  (I picked a short one, in hopes you’ll actually click on it.)

Have a Great Mother’s Day!

Peace

 

Prophesying the Derby

It’s that Magical Time of Year — Derby fever has been raging in Louisville, KY for 2 weeks and we now have the field set and can make bets beginning tomorrow.

It looks as though Eville is going to have decent weather on Saturday with a.m. clouds/p.m. sun and highs in the 70’s,  in stark contrast to my report in  2013 Coldest Derby Ever  

I shared with you in  2015 – It’s Derby Week-end how befuddled I become when betting The Run for the Roses, but I’m a little less confused than usual this year.  (2015 was the American Pharoah year, so the decision seems easy, now.)

In 2016, I was visiting NYC on Derby Week-end…

Eliza’s Derby Hat 2016 NYC

Around these parts, we have a Real Kentucky Thoroughbred Racetrack, Ellis Park, 10 miles away, but Manhattan lacks such amenities.  I discovered TwinSpires, the Official online wagering site of Churchill Downs that year.  We went down to the wire getting our bets made, then put on our hats and sipped bourbon.

I do not have enough money to gamble, and usually stick with $2 bets, except for the Derby, where I make $3 bets. but more of them than any other race.  There are just so damn many horses!!

This year, only 5 of 21 horses have current odds below 10-1:  Justify at 3-1;  Mendelsohn at 5-1; Magnum Moon at 6-1; Bolt d’Oro and Audible, both 8-1. Amazingly, 13 entries have odds at 20-1 to 50-1!!!

It actually is a strong field:  Todd Pletcher trained 4; Bob Baffert trained 2; Aiden O’Brien has been traveling the world winning with Mendelsohn; and Dale Romans has 2 entries.

Saturday morning showers in Louisville may leave a dampened track, though nothing like the mud we had last year.

So what’s a girl to do?  Last year, I left all my Triple Crown winnings in the TS account, so I have that to bet.  And bet it I will.

I have been following the  Prep Races, and early on fell in love with Good Magic.  Not long after, Magnum Moon came along and stole my heart.  I’ve been set on those 2 for a couple of months now, even as the race card filled up with horses with higher BRIS numbers and flashier wins.  The other day, Justify kicked ass at the Santa Anita Derby and caught my eye, and he’s now the favorite.

This might be a good year to bet a longshot.  For the last 5 years, the favorite has won, but for 20 (!!) years before 2012 the favorite lost.  Remember Giacomo winning at 50-1 in 2005?  There are some good horses in that 20-1 to 50-1 group that could surprise us.  Noble Indy comes from a fine family of horses, is a Pletcher horse, and is currently at 30-1.  Salomini has been persistently placing in the preps, and is trained by Baffert, also at 30-1.

So there’s a little info for strategery whenst wagering.  Say you don’t believe in “gambling”?  It’s a Horse Race, the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports (some say).  You don’t have to put out any money to cheer on your favorite horse(s) while wearing a fancy hat and drinking a minty beverage.  Enjoy!

And in case you’re conflicted over Derby Day falling on Cinco de Mayo, here’s a solution…

Cinco de Derby

My hat is ready for donning…  After Olivia’s piano recital, we’ll head over to Ellis and join the festivities.  See you at the track!

P.S.  I know, I know I didn’t say anything about the Oaks.  There needs to be a major movement to get the fillies the proper attention, but I’m not feeling it this year.  Maybe Chocolate Martini?  Oh, Just pick a number…

Peace