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

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!

 

Just in case you miss me…

I’m off to NYC for a couple of days–3 to be exact.  It’s Eliza’s spring break and I got a great price on a ticket out of Indy.  We’ve been non-stop gardening for weeks and I’m actually ready for a break.  The weather in Manhattan won’t be as warm, but what better way is there to spend rainy spring days than playing with your grandkids?

Hope your Easter was happy…ours was!

Peace

Finally, February

February is short because we just can’t take another day of it.  Just starting the month makes me chomp at the bit for March and Spring.  However…there were a Lot of Great people born in February and each of them needs proper celebrating; the super bowl halftime show is this weekend; and Mardi gras makes a late appearance on the 28th.  Today has been a pretty slow start, though…Dullsville.

We babysat Samantha yesterday…she wanted nothing to do with letting me take a picture…

Around sunset I headed over to UE for an interfaith rally to show support for our Muslim brothers and sisters.  There is no anger at these rallies, there is hope.  We don’t chant hateful sayings, we pray together.  We sing songs like Everybody get Together.  The pastor, the rabbi, and the imam speak of our sacred duty to take care of each other.  We smile at each other.  Away from the arguments and rants on the tv and social media, it was so comforting to stand quietly and pray that Love will Overcome fear and hate.

Peace

A last hurrah to Christmas 2016

Our plans to drive to NYC on Christmas Day were unavoidably changed, but that’s okay.  We’re free, now, to come and go as we please.  Here at Sonnystone, we’re still walking around going, wow you really don’t have to go to work, as we do the same old things we’d always do…put away the decorations, bring in the firewood (though it’s been unseasonably warm), and eat up the leftovers.

The Leftovers are from our Christmas Eve get-together with the Jrs.  Olivia and Samantha spent the night with us on the 23rd, and we met up with their parents for breakfast the next morning at IHOP.  (good enough, but I wish Eville had more diners)   Returning to the Acres, we quickly got down to serious christmas business:

Opening presents…

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Playing with new toys…

Not just New toys, but old games, too…

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New toys are great, but Samantha currently loves the harmonica the best.  Since she figured out how to make music with it a couple of months ago, she comes in pointing and asking  for it every visit.  She insists that I play one with her, and we’re quite a duo, but with or without me, she doesn’t let go of her blues harp.

We’ve got it all put away now and we’re busy working on the laundry room remodel…wait, did I say We?  I’m still putting everything back where it was (where was it?) before the holidaze, planning some trips, and vowing to not make any resolutions this year…like I never do.

New York at Christmas – 2016 Edition

Ya’ll know that I fill my new-york-minutes to the brim, but I think this trip was over the top.  I arrived at noon on Thursday, 12/15, but I’m going to take you through the 30 hours between 7:45am Friday and 12:45pm Saturday.  Get comfortable.

Emma, a 5th grader, attends a new school this year, and I had the opportunity to visit during an all-school holiday assembly.  The Town School has a mellow vibe and their approach to teaching is just what Emma needed.

After the assembly, Eric went off to work and Melissa and I had some breakfast and conversation, then ambled back to 333 so Melissa could change clothes.  A quick donning of the gown, and we were off again to Lincoln Center and the 2pm performance of Messiah.  My seats were Perfect, 6th row center, and I could make eye-contact with my choral friends, smiling and winking.  The performance was just as good as you would expect from the NYC Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert. When it was over, I sneaked out the side door and around to the stage door to wait for Melissa.  I had just arrived, standing about 3 feet from the door, pulling on my gloves, when the door opened.  I looked up and saw a man emerging, nice suit…shifted my gaze further upward and met the eyes of….Alec Baldwin.  Wow, I thought, that’s Alec Baldwin.  My eyes smiled, his eyes nodded…1-3 seconds of acknowledgment that, yes, indeed, he is Alec Baldwin.  The young fella following him closely said, there he is, and they strode off to the waiting Escalade (it’s all about escalades).  I admired him as he walked out into traffic and slid into the car…nice suit…

Melissa soon appeared, and after a nice catch-up with a friend, we grabbed a cab back to her apartment.  She did another costume change and we ubered over to St. Joseph School, where Eliza’s Drama Club was having their Christmas Play.  The play was a little short on plot, but full of enthusiastic singing and dancing.  I don’t feel the least bit biased when I say that Eliza rocked her moves the best…

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Eric and the girls went out for dinner, but Melissa had to work that night and took me with her.  Her “job” was at the Mariah Carey concert.  You may have heard of Ms. Carey, the Queen of Christmas.  She does 9 shows at the Beacon Theatre every Christmas, and recently the Gotham Group, for whom Melissa is some fancy title, started doing her social media work.  So it happened that I took my trusty Nikon (which is, by the way, quite antiquated,  and someone should start a fund to buy me a new one), wore my film/team working pass, and pretended like I was a big-time photographer/blogger covering the show.  I was snapping like a papparazzi, so there are way too many pictures…Here’s the best…

While Melissa was upstairs with the Talent, I hung around backstage, eavesdropping (and occasionally joining in) on conversations, working on my Long Island accent, or was it Brooklyn?

Empty house, from center stage…

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But, wait, there’s more…  We woke up Saturday morning to about 2inches of snow, the pretty kind.   We arrived right on time at Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular—and Eliza stayed awake the entire time!!!

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This is worth staying awake for…

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We followed up the show with some good grub at Bill’s Burgers,

then came home to find that Eric had put up the Christmas Tree and lights…

The following 24 hours…

Eliza had started in with a cough that really annoyed me, and I soon heard some wheezing.  Long story short, she had pneumonia, diagnosed Sunday morning at the NYC version of MEC.  She got a breathing treatment, some antibiotics, and slept all day.  I went to church with Melissa after the doctor visit, then met up with Emma at the Barnes & Noble.  She helped me pick out presents for her and her little sister and we spent the evening back at the apartment playing.  Eliza was feeling much better and able to go to her Polar Express Pajama Party on Monday, when I flew out on a flight that arrived Early in Evansville…charmed, I’d say.

New York at Christmas–the sights, the sounds, the Love…

Peace