Friday, July 22, 2016

The Prevalence of "P"

"P" has been predominant here this week.


Plums


Purple Clematis (with pockmarks and perforations from Japanese beetles)


Pretty Lantana 




Psycho squirrels consuming Psilocybin
Because we've had some epic downpours and lots of humid conditions, we're growing crops of mushrooms in the lawn. The squirrels are obsessed with eating them (often on the picnic table), which causes them to stagger around under the influence. It's really amusing to watch but I haven't yet been successful at capturing them on video. 


Purloined Petals
See those gently arched, unadorned sticks at the top of the lilies? That is all that remains
 after the deer learned how to suck the petals off my Stargazer lilies. 


People Pursuing Pokemon in the Park
While you can't see them all clearly, there are 16 people wandering the park across from my house in search of Pokemon. It's usually deserted, so this is really quite the gathering. I'm a bit tempted to download the app myself so I can see what's there.


Also, Postures in the Park



And Plenty of Pears.


Lastly, the Prodigious Peep-mobile.

I hope that good things are plentiful in your weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Halfway

We're about halfway through Summer Book Bingo by Mary's rules (and she's the boss!) so it's time for an update. My messy card looks like this:


Eighteen books and nary a bingo, but that's okay. I'm currently reading The Son (With a family member in the title), The House of Owls (Nature writing), and One Man's Owl (With an animal as a key character) so there will be bingoes soon enough. These books are so good that I've honestly been reading them slowly. It's wonderful to be able to have excellent ongoing reads to turn to after some less than satisfying ones.

During the past two summers, I've often struggled to find books to fit into squares, but this year I'm happily enjoying how books just seem to be presenting themselves. I have had a couple of two-star duds, but I'm also finding delightful surprises, like the three incredible books I'm reading right now, and the hopefully exceptional nonfiction (What a Fish Knows) I have queued after that. I'll link to my Goodreads Book Bingo 2016 shelf in case you're interested in specifics and reviews.

There are 47 days left until the Book Bingo deadline of September 5 (midnight!) so there is plenty of time left for a good book or two. Read for the joy of reading and understanding, no matter whether you're in search of covered squares, bingoes, or not!

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood. ~ John Green



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Did You Say?


With aging parents comes diminished hearing. We've been struggling with my mother-in-law's inability to hear for years now. While I do respect a person's right to choose what they want to do concerning their health, it's very sad to see her isolation from the family and the world in general, simply because she can't (or won't) hear. She did finally succumb to our nagging last summer, got hearing aids, wore them twice, and then returned them. My father bought two different sets of hearing aids but hardly ever wore them, so my patience with stubborn people who refuse to help themselves when help is available has worn thin over the years.

And now it is my turn. I've known for the past year or so that I no longer hear as well as I used to. Sometimes John and I sound like a Laurel and Hardy sketch at dinner. He'll say something; I'll answer "Huh?", and his reply is "What?" I did consult an audiologist who thought that hearing aids might help me, but with our high deductible health insurance and the incredibly high cost of hearing aids, I decided to look for a lower-cost alternative if possible.

So imagine my excitement when our long-delayed Costco finally began showing some progress recently. It was started over four years ago, with lots of digging and site preparation, followed by years of lawyers battling over NJ codes and regulations. Someone finally won (or made enough money) and our Costco is supposed to open this fall. While I'm excited about being able to buy reasonably priced pure vanilla, cheese, and giant bears, the thing I'm most looking forward to is Costco's hearing aid center. I know of at least six people who have been happy with their hearing aids (and the cost) from Costco, so that's where I'll be headed soon after their doors open, hopefully hearing better at a better price.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ten on Tuesday

Uh-oh. I'm wondering where Carole got today's Ten On Tuesday prompt - 10 Songs About Where You Live. I couldn't think of even one off the top of my head, but with Google and a lot of help from friends, I did come up with a few.

  1. "Flemington" by Danny Federici. Danny was the keyboard player for the E Street Band before he sadly passed away in 2008. He's kind of a big deal around here and did a solo album entitled Flemington with a title track of the same name in 1996.
  2. "Flemington" - Tom Day. I had never heard this song, but I quite like it. I think Tom's Flemington is in Australia, not NJ, but I thank him anyway.
  3. "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" - The Four Seasons. I was lucky enough to find two songs named for the town I live in, but then had to branch out state-wide. This one was in the Broadway show Jersey Boys.
  4. "Jersey Girl" - Tom Waits. Tom wrote the song and sings it best.
  5. "Diamond Street Church Choir"- The Gaslight Anthem. This song is an ode to the New Brunswick (think Rutgers) bar where they played their first show. 
  6. "Jersey Bounce" - Ella Fitzgerald. Because we need something besides rock on this list.
  7. "Who Says You Can't Go Home" - Jon Bon Jovi. New Jersey's second most famous rocker, he's singing about coming home to NJ. 
  8. "Trapped" - Bruce Springsteen. I got to number 8 before I listed New Jersey's most famous musician. I'm always surprised by how many people don't know this song, but it's my favorite by Bruce. There have been times I feel trapped in NJ (when I'm longing to be in Colorado), but it's simply a great song.
  9. “Governor Chris Christie’s Fort Lee, New Jersey Traffic Jam” - Jimmy Fallon and Bruce Springsteen. In September of 2013 our esteemed governor was embroiled in a scandal that involved closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge, the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. This resulted in three days of epic gridlock, recounted in this brilliant parody:
    Sprung from cages on Highway 9, we got three lanes closed, so Jersey get your ass in line
    Whoa, maybe this Bridgegate was just payback, it's a bitchslap to the state Democrats
  10.  Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. - Bruce Springsteen. His first album is one of his best, and with a title like that I couldn't pick just one song. It's hard to believe that this album wasn't a big hit in 1973, but now no list of songs about where I live would be complete without him.

I was afraid my list would be all Bruce, but I'm glad Carole presented this opportunity to branch out a bit and recognize that there is a lot of music about where I live. I'm looking forward to some interesting lists and interesting listens today!

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Weekend in Pictures









This weekend included some good news, bad news, and more scary medical stuff this week; a drive in the truck to a cool spot; turkey feathers found on my walk; pasta salad; beans; plumbing (which doesn't look like much but sucked up way too much time on Sunday); some listening; and some knitting (now with two counter rings!).

Hope you had a good one!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Weekending

It rained much of the weekend and the weather was downright tropical, but when it began to clear on Sunday, it was evident that the high temperatures, sun, and rain over the past week had helped the garden to provide a bounty of zucchini and string beans.









An afternoon's work provided two zucchini, mushroom, and onion quiches, some zucchini marina, 14 cups of grated zucchini frozen, 8 packages of string beans blanched and frozen, and fresh string beans ready for dinner for the next three nights. This is what gardeners wait and wish for, and I'm anxiously looking forward to cucumbers and tomatoes next. This weekend is going to provide lots of healthy, delicious eating!