The one you’ve been waiting for…

I know you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for pictures from our London trip…

The easiest, quickest, laziest way to share my pics with you is to make them into these little videos. I didn’t take the time to edit the photos and Lord knows they need it, but when you view them for short seconds, you don’t notice so much how bad they are. Each of the videos lasts about a minute. I used the cheesy music to achieve more of a music video effect rather than a slide show, but I don’t blame you if you want to mute the muzak.

Day 1- Windsor Castle

Day 2 – Buckingham Palace, Queens Walk, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus

Day 3 – London Eye to Tower of London

Day 4 – Westminster Abbey

And a bonus video — Signs and Pubs

My allergies are assaulting my head and throat and my eyes were gommy and sticky this morning. I’d love to be outside, but the pollens are overwhelming my benadryl. I won’t complain (much) since I’ve had these pictures to go through. Hope you enjoy seeing them!

Peace

The latest News

We are enjoying a couple of days of warm and sunny after mostly gloomy and wet earlier in the week. The windows are open with the birdsongs wafting in on the wind. Casey’s already outside tilling the Edible Garden and I’m on my out to repot the basil. All of our plants are growing strong and it looks like the weather is going to be perfect to get them planted when we return.

As I’ve Planned and Planned this trip to London, then planned some more, I have come to the conclusion that my best option is to have an outline rather than a rigid schedule, giving us flexibility for bad weather or just feeling tired. After a half-day trip to Windsor Castle on Friday, we will have no other “appointments” and we’ll buy our tickets at the door of wherever we decide we want to stop. We know that will include Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, The Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace and Park, Kensington Palace and Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, Wildlife Park, Victoria and Albert Museum. I have mapped out several walks to see all of that and who knows what else we’ll see on our way? I am not sure if I’ll be able to write much next week, but I am going to try.

Leaving Wed. 4/27 Return Tues. 5/3

The Queen had a Birthday, her 96th, on Thursday. Of course, we had a toast to her Health. Whilst checking out the latest Royal Gossip, I came across this fascinating little clip.

It is such a Fine Day! I’m going to go outside and play.

Peace

The Sunday Scoop 4-10-22

It’s been a busy week, sort of…well, it’s been a week, anyway, rainy and cold with a smattering of sunshine interspersed. We have a young pileated woodpecker showing up to the suet.. and that’s been pretty exciting…

Today, however, is sunny and warming up nicely so I am planning on attacking my Garden To-Do List.

We dug up our daylillies and daisies and I have no idea where to put them. I am not really fond of daylillies, especially where I had them, but I planned on giving them away and got no takers. For now, I think I’ll toe them in around the Big Tulip Poplar and see how they do…or maybe not. We need to plant a leftover rosebush out back and pull out the grape vine, too.

We visited Hillside Gardens on Thursday and I bought 3 Better Boy tomato plants and 6 california wonder pepper plants. I am going to repot them and wait until after our trip to plant outside. Ronnie’s fruit stand should get their first shipment in this week and that’s my place for herbs and flowers and other vegetables. They’ll look pretty out on the enclosed back porch and I’m quite grateful that my looming travel will hold me back from making my same old mistake of putting warm-weather crops in the ground too early. My cool-weather garden bed has peas a-poppin’ and tiny little beets, carrots and spinach peeking up. I’ll spare you the picture of dirt this week, but when you look real close you see them…

It should work out pretty well to have everything ready to go upon our return from London May 4–May the 4th be with me!! I couldn’t resist. I’m spending the rainy days engrossed in my planning and the Youtube has been so helpful, though a real rabbit-hole once you start watching. I watched a guy *gal? walking around London silently, just traffic sounds, etc. in the rain, for longer than I care to admit. However, it has really given me some looks at the Most Popular Sites and I get more excited every day.

Back to the Here and Now: My Irish Dancers are in Belfast, Northern Ireland, competing in the World Championships. My #2 grandie, Olivia, is on a school trip to Washington, D.C., so I’m kept busy sending out the long-distance Love. Samantha was here yesterday to play, though!

The Sun is beckoning me — lighting up the dust in the house, too — so I’m going to pretend I didn’t notice and go Outside and Play!

Even if you’re stuck inside, I hope you enjoy this Beautiful Day!

Peace

The Sunday Scoop — 4/3/22

The Excitement of planning my upcoming London trip has pervaded this week, eclipsing all other tasks. I’m wallowing in over-thinking, imagining all sorts of scenarios and timeframes, then re-imagining it, then fretting and changing the Plan again. Even after all the attention, I’m only Sure that we will leave EVV April 27 5:15 and arrive LHR April 28 12:45pm, check in to The Queen’s Gate Hotel in South Kensington where we will stay for five nights and return to LHR 12:15pm May 3 to arrive EVV 9:15pm.

The Queens Gate Hotel is a couple of blocks from the Wildlife Garden/Museum of Natural Science, and a couple of blocks in the other direction to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I chose this hotel quite a while back for its location 0.5 mile from Kensington Gardens and I feel like I know the route through the Gardens and Hyde Park (about 2 miles) to the Buckingham Palace by heart now.

In order to get the full Royal Effect, we’ll take a bus trip to Windsor Castle where HM The Queen is currently residing. Maybe I Will get a glimpse of ERII after all, but I’m Sure to Feel Her Presence there (thanks, Mary-my-old-nursing-school-roomie, for pointing that out).

There should be time to see The Tower, The Globe, The Eye, The Tate Modern and The National Gallery and any green space I happen upon — and there seem to be plenty.

Today is a lovely Spring day here at the Acres, so I’m bringing my attention back to Our gardens. I can see about a dozen peas peeping up and a scraggly row of spinach can be spotted if you look closely; the radishes are filling in their space nicely. I don’t expect the beets and carrots to show up too soon as it has been cold.

We’re planning on moving some forsythias and a viburnum to the East side of the house. Of course, “we” is just a euphemism. Casey’s got his own list of outside work and I have to put my requests in, hoping he’ll schedule them soon. We’re dodging rain showers this week, so I wait patiently.

Heading out into the Sunshine, hoping All is Well where You are, too!

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

We got the countertop installed last Wednesday! There’s always something more to do, but we’re calling it done-for-now.

There’s more storage, more workspace, and it feels so New — something rare in this old shanty.

The Jr. girls were here Thursday and Friday and we had a blast going to the mall, the zoo, and to the Theatre to see Sing 2. Another Spring Break is behind us and I wish the time didn’t go so quickly…

I must make a decision today — tomorrow at the latest — regarding my visit to London. >sigh< Let me explain…

This trip was planned and paid for in 2019, kids, and there have been so many changes that I can’t say that I care about it much. You see, the Goal was to see The Queen at Royal Ascot; back then she attended Every Day and I was assured, veritably certain to get a glimpse of her from the Queen Anne Enclosure as she arrived in a Royal Carriage from Windsor. She was only 93 at the time and was still making all of her usual appearances. Then Covid. Three years later, she is having problems with walking and currently doesn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair. Since Prince Philip died last year she has appeared to be increasingly frail and her appearances are few and far between. She is determined to be at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Memorial Service this week and to take part in as many Platinum Jubilee events as possible, especially Trooping of the Colour in June, but her family have had to take over Most of her duties.

So here I am with a hotel reservation for The Jubilee Week, her birthday week and the week of Royal Ascot. Face it, the crowds in London that week will be insane and I’ll not get Close to Buckingham Palace to see her, though I may be able to find a spot on the Trooping the Colour parade route as her carriage goes by if I manage to get my butt on a curb the day before, but I’d be better off watching it all on the telly. I’ll be very surprised if she makes it to Royal Ascot more than one day and what day will that be?? Probably not the day I’m there!

To make matters worse, the Price of the plane tickets has Doubled for that week! When I chose those dates I underestimated the power of the Platinum Jubilee to make it all so much more expensive! What with the price of everything — Everything — inflated, I have to admit that I just can’t afford this trip…not in June, anyway.

What I can do is go at another time, if our hotel will allow us to change the reservation Again. I’m looking at late April now, just one month from now. I’m going to contact the Queens Gate today and see if they’ll cooperate. If they do, Wow, we’re going to London next month! If they don’t, I’m okay with that, as well, because I’m tired of thinking about it.

You’ll be the first to know when it’s all settled…

Peace

Poems by heart

Happy Spring to you! Today is the Equinox, when the daylight is equal to the night. Having planted peas, beets, radishes, carrots, and spinach three days ago, I’m ready for this week’s predicted rain, though I dread the gloom.

This time of year always reminds me of a poem, one that I know by heart. I’m not even googling this, so it may be off. I must have memorized it more than 50 years ago, possibly closer to 60!

The year’s at the Spring,the day’s at the morn.

The morning’s at seven, the hillside’s dew-pearled.

The lark’s on the wing, the snail’s on the thorn.

God’s in his Heaven, All’s right with the World!

Robert Browning…

Over the years I’ve often quoted that “God’s in his Heaven” line whenever I am immersed in Nature’s Beauty. The All’s right with the World, is encouraging and I look to the perennial changing of the seasons to reassure me. Just like Life, Spring is not lived in just one day, but in a succession of days spent seeking sunlight and warmth; it is a process of steady renewal that culminates in verdant color that All God’s creatures enjoy!

cardinal on the lamp

It was a busy week here at the Acres and I have acutely missed the hour we lost. I read an article that said Napping is a sign of creeping dementia, so I’ve forced myself to pull All-Dayers this entire week. Well, dozing in front of the TV doesn’t count, does it?

We’re getting our countertop put in this Wednesday, but Casey has to pull out the old one and the countertop people will pick it up and use it for a template to cut the new. This means I won’t have a kitchen sink or workplace for 2-3 days. I’m down with that and looking forward to eating out!

Olivia and Samantha aka Nova and Unicorn, will be here Thursday for a sleepover to celebrate their Spring Break Week! Last year we were at Disney with them, so we can’t top that, but we’re going to have Two Days of Fun and Feasting, an event that may become a tradition — one never knows…

One really does never know, does one? Who knew that the poems we memorized as kids would bring us such comfort and joy in our old-ish age? I believe I always knew how precious Springtime is, though we try to hurry it along when it insists on staying cloudy or cool or rains incessantly.

magnolia tree buds

Despite its whimsical nature, Spring always brings to me the desire to refresh and renew, to try again: This time my seeds will grow; this time I’ll really quit; this time I’ll really begin, this time I’ll get it right. There is Hope as the trees and shrubs bloom and we watch the birds mate and feather their nests and it seems appropriate, even necessary, to remember the poems of our past.

There is another Spring poem, or verse of it, anyway, that I quote to myself often, though it has only been lodged in the old brain for about 30 years:

sweet spring is my time, is your time, is our time, for springtime is Love time and viva sweet love…

e.e.cummings

Peace

Finally Finished

When I started researching my family tree back in 2018, I thought I’d just work on it for about a year and be done. Turns out there is enough mystery and intrigue in the research to keep me occupied for what has been 4 years now. I have taken breaks from it and I’m ready to take another, but I had set a goal of covering the paternal grandparents to 1945. Today I finished and I feel free to move on to Gardening — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, too!

Not only do I feel the relief of moving out of the 1940s, but I’m super excited that we bought a garden cultivator/tiller.

Casey is like a kid in a candy shop and I’m very grateful that he likes this stuff as much as I do because I have Plans for that tiller!

This week’s weather is predicted to tease us with Spring. I try to plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day, so thanks again, Universe. Though our average last day of frost is April 8, my garden journal from 2021 records that we had a snow on April 24. In 2020 the temps were struggling to get above 40 in early May. I must remember that Spring is fickle.

My family story has obsessed me for a while now, but I’m ready to fill my head with garden plans. I’ll be back on Thursday for a St. Patrick’s Day Planting post. Don’t forget to wear Green or I’ll have to pinch you.

Peace

Old News, hardly a scoop…

I didn’t give enough space to our local birthday party, celebrating Samantha’s 7th and my 69th birthdays. Here’s a little montage of that day, February 19th…

I have now officially ridden Every Ride in the Walt Disney World parks, knocking out my last two at Animal Kingdom. I had put off the Rite of Passage ride when I was having some back problems several years ago and I wish I’d ridden earlier! It is now my Favorite Ride! We were pretty chill after our early mornings and spent a lot of time hanging out at pool bars (and pools) around the resort. I marked off “visit Nomad Lounge” from my must-do list, too. We had perfect weather…

Spring greeted us when we arrived back here at Sonnystone, and it was so beautiful last week that we were outside cleaning up and planning this year’s gardens. It’s time to start seeds inside, we plant our peas and potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day and I am impatient, as usual. I hope to start a Gardening Series on Thursdays and keep you up to date on how the garden is growing.

I used the nice weather as an excuse to procrastinate finishing up my Ancestry to 1945. I’m really going to get it written this week, I tell myself. I’m very ready to wind up that blog and spend more time here at the Acres providing you with plenty of Blather and Balderdash.

Peace

Let the Wild Rumpus begin!

Birthday Week started off Grandly yesterday with Miss Samantha and me making Wishes as we blew out our Encanto candles.

Today we’re cruising through Georgia — even Atlanta — on our way to celebrate with Mickey and the gang.

It’s been 2 years since my last Birthday trip to WDW and so much has changed and then changed again.

One thing is certain: we’re gonna have a Good Time! I will be reporting in all week, so stay tuned.

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

There is an upside to a sleet/ice/snow storm…the birds flock to our food. We moved the feeders to a spot under the porch so the ice couldn’t cover them and brought them in at night to dry and warm. There were never less than 30 birds in the area, lots of juncos on the ground, dozens of cardinals, finches and wrens of all sort, woodpeckers, and those damn grackles, too. One awkward pileated woodpecker showed up, too…

The kitchen has come along swimmingly! I’m never good at the “before” pictures, and we’re not done yet…

It’s a good thing you didn’t click on those Ancestry posts last week (and I Know you didn’t). Turns out I got a major part of the story Wrong and I had to un-publish and revise. It was kind of a bummer, as I rather liked the story the way I told it, but I came across some newspaper articles that contradicted it. I’ve changed the original posts, but haven’t yet gotten time to continue writing the tale.

Two weeks from today we’ll be on our way to WDW to celebrate my birthday, #69 to be exact. I’m calling this year my “Farewell to the 60s” event. Naturally, we start at Disney; naturally, we’ll end at Disney, too. That’s us.

Because of the ice, I postponed my usual visit with Grandies #2 and #4 from Saturday to Sunday (today). Lo and Behold! Samantha lost her first tooth and then her second soon after!

Peace