Adventures with with O & S ….

We went to the zoo to celebrate Olivia’s first day of summer vacation…

Afterward, we came back to Sonnystone and played…It’s nice to have PawPaw around to play clue and help with fairy wings…

Samantha spent a while working on her flying…

Missing the essential Pixie Dust, she didn’t quite lift off, but she persisted…I like that in a person…

 

Peace

 

Memorial Day, 2017

Busy week, this last one, full of people I love.  Between babysitting, elder-sitting, and good, old friends, I haven’t had time to do much more than maintenance.  I’m way behind on my reading challenge because I didn’t have the challenge book with me at Cades Cove and started reading another, so now I’m finishing up two.

Many confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day.  The former is for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives for their country in military service, the latter for all those who served.  No one in my mom or dad’s family has died in combat, but for the millions of lives cut short by war, it is good to take time to pause and reflect with prayers or meditations of remembrance and thanksgiving for all we, the living, have in this wonderful country.

I remember when we called this Decoration Day and we would go with my great-grandmother in Southern Illinois to walk around dozens (it seemed) of cemeteries littered with Maynes and Kinkades.  Casey and I made our way through most of the old cemeteries at one time or another in the last 20 years, but the weather isn’t always co-operative.   This year would have given us a beautiful day to re-enact the trip, but we chose to stay put, doing mostly nothing.

Casey’s working on putting up our little pool and the week ahead looks sunny.  We are leaving next week, flying to NYC for Eliza’s kindergarten graduation/party and both girls will be dancing Irish at their school’s

Ceili  –  ˈkālē/

a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

Both PawPaw and I are going, and this will be the first time he has seen the girls dance in person, so we are All excited.

Till then, we’ll be laying around the shack, watching the garden grow.  Well, I will. I can’t keep track of Casey, but he’ll be doing something helpful, I’m sure.

Peace

 

 

Another Week-end Wrapped Up

We arrived back at Sonnystone early afternoon Thursday.  You can read about our trip at My Travel Blog.  Wink had traveled very well, (even alerting us to bear outside the camper one night!) but was glad to get back to his old box, as were we.

Saturday was Olivia’s Dance Recital (as well as the Preakness, which did not turn out well, but I don’t wanna talk about it).  She has really improved and this year was her best.  In fact, the whole (half) of the recital that I watched was better than the last few.  It’s tough to get dancing pictures from the cheap seats without blur, but here’s my best of her best…


Didn’t I warn you about what happens when we go off-grid?  While we were in the Smokies, the news cycle was Spinning, and when I came out of the no-news-zone it took several hours of reading to catch up with the chaos.  I’m glad I missed it in real time.  Reading it all summed up was anxiety-producing enough…  Of course, those of you who watch faux news 24/7 don’t have any idea what I’m talking about…

Busy week ahead.   The garden is growing strong.  Check out the photos at My Garden Blog.  Until we meet again…

Peace

 

Week-end Update

I bet the winner at the Kentucky Derby across the board, but he wasn’t the horse I was rooting for.  I’ll take my winnings, however bittersweet.  Preakness next….

After the monsoons let up—I thought it would take forever—I scrambled outside to the garden (visit Growing Every Season–my gardening blog),  stopping only to celebrate my #2 grand-daughter’s #9 birthday.

Olivia Mayne Casey, birthday Queen

We’re packing up for a few days,  trailer trippin’ to Cades Cove campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I’ve got a hankerin’ to hike back to Laurel Falls.   We’re still learning about dry camping, and Wink will be coming along, so it’s kind of a science experiment, too.  We never tire of GSMNP and have been dozens of times, but have only seen a bear once.  We’re told that the bear population around Cades Cove has increased and that we will have no problems seeing lots of them!  I don’t know if that’s good or not, but Casey thinks it’s great.

Remember when we were there (at another campground) in late October?  Just before we went out of cellphone range, the news broke that Comey had re-opened the Hillary email investigation…when we came home 3 days later, she had for all intents and purposes lost the election.  Now as we go back into the wilderness, Comey has been fired and…you know…

 We will be gratefully off-grid, and on the lookout for Bears…

Peace

birds, coyotes, squirrels, and thoroughbreds…

It happens every year at this time…the spring ushers in waves of thunderstorms, downpours, big winds…the green pops up, bordered by gloomy gray skies on the top and mud puddles on the bottom.  Inside, we’ve had the fires going, cozily going crazy while we watch the birdfeeders…

There has been an influx of rose-breasted grosbeaks at our sunflower-seed feeders.  The male and female look Nothing alike.  The male is quite striking with the patch of rose on his chest and white marks on his wings, while she looks like a large carolina wren sort-of (same eyebrows, totally different beak, etc).

I got this picture on May 2, when we had a brief glimpse of the sun.  Shows 2 males and a female…

In fact, the grosbeaks are kin to the cardinals, but my resident cardinals don’t seem too happy to see them.  One of the female grosbeaks hissed off a male cardinal and she and one of her girlfriends hogged that feeder for a while… Mostly, though, they just crowd in and everybody seems well-fed.  We put out the hummingbird feeders and we’ve had several visitors there, as well.

Speaking of well-fed, a coyote visited Sonnystone today.  We’ve seen him/her before, down at the far end of the property, but today he wandered right up to the birdfeeders by the time we noticed.  Casey said he was after a squirrel and went to chase him off, but he had his eye on two and took off toward the garden where that one scrambled over the fence.  I saw him stand there and sniff, then he took off around to the other side where that squirrel was cornered.  This happened quickly, so by the time we figured out where he was he had the squirrel and was sauntering off…

I have no problem with a coyote eating well, but not that close to my house and my squirrels.  He’s thinking he’s got a buffet here, so we’re on Coyote Alert.  He came back for seconds as soon as he ate the first one, so we’ve chased him off once.  Now the pellet gun is pumped and Casey has a Mission…

Meanwhile, I’m researching for my bets on the Oaks tomorrow and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  The archives show how many times the Race has been Run on a rainy, cold day, so nothing new there.

Fresh crop of horses that will have to run in the mud, god love ’em.

2017 Kentucky Derby Horses

We’ll stay warm with some Bourbon sippin’ and make our bets online.  Will still wear a hat, of course…

Peace

Reading Challenge #6

Oh, my…  I believe that “Lincoln in the Bardo” is one of the best books I have ever read.  I am moved beyond words at this beautiful story, so uniquely told.

The title intrigued me right away, as I am familiar with the Tibetan Buddhist definition of Bardo: “a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.”

Bardo is the “in-between place” a “transitional state,” the period of the afterlife between two states, sort of like a waiting space before you enter into your next birth (or not).  I would say this applies to the bereaved, as well as the deceased. If you’ve lost a loved one, you know that it takes some time of grieving before you can transition to the reality of your life without them.

At the time of his 11-year-old son Willie’s death,  it was reported that Lincoln often visited the crypt where he was interred to hold his son’s body.  Note that:  he would go to the mausoleum, pull the corpse out of the coffin, and Hold his son’s Body.  The grief that one can feel in that image is the essence of this book and has been fully and imaginatively depicted, told by the deceased in the cemetery who remain in the bardo.

The conversations are more like rambling monologues, all speaking at once, creating a cacophony of thoughts of past lives, current obsessions, and watching as Willie is laid to rest, watching as his father removes him from his “sick box”, watching as Willie waits for his father to return. There are “historic references” interspersed between the dialogues (monologues?)   Lincoln does return, and the ending is so True…

The story is told in such a unique way—like a play—and yet each character becomes as real as a dream.  I’ve always enjoyed George Saunders’ short stories, but this format is as brilliant as his prose is moving, presenting Lincoln’s grief so poignantly that it will break your heart.

I haven’t done it justice, really.  You just need to read this one…

Next up is “A book set in a place you want to visit”….hmmm

definitely not the bardo…

Peace

Back home again…

Had a great trip to visit with the NYC grand-daughters, mostly Eliza, who was on spring break.

Anyway, it was a quick trip…  Eliza and I went down to Rockefeller Center, but I failed to get Studio Tour tickets.  Not to be daunted we went** to the Top of the Rock…

We played games and did some book-reading, attended Emma’s All-School Assembly, and just enjoyed being together!!

I arrived back at Sonnystone on Saturday, and I have to brag that my house was freshly swept and my windows were shiny-clean.  All of the my veggie plants were in great shape.  The seeds that I planted last Sunday are just sort-of starting to pop up.  Sunday we planted 9–count ’em–9 double knockout roses across the front of the house.  We’ll be planting veggies this week-end, if not before..!

I’m babysitting Samantha today and tomorrow…

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Peace

 

** (I accidentally walked by trump tower while there…the whole block has to be cordoned off and there are seriously weaponized men everywhere.  I don’t blame Melania for not wanting to live with her husband, and I understand that Barron has special needs,  but according to the New York City Police Department, it has cost the taxpayers an average of $127,000 to $145,000 per day to keep Melania and Barron Trump in New York. By the time the Trumps vacate Trump Tower in June, (if they do) the tallied amount is projected to hit $8.6 million.  Since he’s so rich, can’t he pay that himself?)

(that wasn’t very peaceful, was it?  sorrrry…)

For Real…

Peace to All of you!