Monday, July 26, 2010

Just Love It !

This is the photo I had meant to include in the previous posting, of our visit to Buttonwood Farm, located in Griswold, Ct.
[As you were able to tell I had left in a repeat photo.]

Why? Well it's a really good reminder to me, that I'm far from perfect, even with the best of intentions, & also a favorite is a favorite, & being I was so taken by the beauty of the scene & our love for sunflowers & our New England stonewalls, twice is certainly nice! Above is the photo that was meant for that spot, & so worth including on this sunny Monday morning, as our days unfold........

Have a wonderful day & a great week too, August is a-coming, stay cool!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunflowers For Wishes, Buttonwood Farm, Griswold, Ct.

I never in my life have seen, so many sunflowers growing in the fields, have you?
For seven years now Buttonwood Farm, in Griswold, Ct. has been raising thousands of dollars for the Connecticut Make A Wish Foundation, by selling bunches of sunflowers, commemorative tee shirts & note paper.
I met Adrian [Pumpkin] , Shavonne [Vonnie] & Shavonne's son Preston, towards the end of our sunflower day. We were all so thrilled to be among such beautiful landscape. Adrian was taking a picture of her daughter Shavonne holding her son Preston. Everyone looked so perfect amidst the scenery we just had to acknowledge one another, it was so like a storybook, out by these fields. We talked a bit, & my husband & I learned that this beautiful family traveled through the town of Preston, all the way from their town of Windsor, [near where we used to live too, as our family is also from the Hartford area], to where we were presently standing.
As you view this photo, Adrian is to the left, it's me in the middle, & Shavonne & Preston are on the right. It truly was the perfect way to make new friends, along a country road, by a historic stonewall, gracing a field of sunflowers.

Small beautiful world, all of us out in this quaint countryside, taking it all in, & for a most excellent cause too, so very meaningful.
The crowds were amazing, this was the line to the ice cream stand at 4pm, there were hundreds of people on the grounds.
We decided not to stand in a 45 minute line, & the storm that rolled in really convinced us not to stand in it....
This powerful storm rolled in, & then out quite rapidly, so my husband was able to get us some ice cream after all.

{Additional entry: Here it is Monday morning now, 7/26/10, & I just realized I included the following photo twice, wow, how did I come to do that? I do know of course, as I got all these photos done quite late on Saturday night, & I more than likely was tired, & since it is a favorite, I'm gonna keep it in place. Too much of a good thing here will never be a problem.}
The warm smile on this gal, she is so fitting to be amongst the sunflowers, as she is one too.
Truly a beautiful afternoon, in one of the prettiest spots I could ever image, & only a stone's throw from our neck of the woods too.
Such a wonderful cause, bringing smiles to those who want to help, & help to those we love & care about.
Thank you Buttonwood Farm, you help make us all feel better about some of the more serious things in life, & granting these special wishes, gives us all renewed hope in our own humanity.


{Buttonwood Farm, 473 Shetucket Turnpike [route 165], Griswold, Ct.}

The Hartford Jazz Society Celebrating 50 Years Of Jazz!

We attended a Jazz Concert in Bushnell Park, Hartford, Connecticut, this past Monday 7/19/10. There was a hugh Jazz Festival that past weekend, including the Sunday prior to this concert, which probably along with Monday's iffy weather report, contributed to a lower attendance, nonetheless all those factors in no way affected the quality of the performances that evening, which were most high end.

The band you are viewing presently on stage for the first 3 photos, is Hartford's own Espada. Espada is zesty, spicy & excellently textured. For those of us that enjoy salsas music the only disappointment was, it was over, way too soon.
The gal above is the person who sold me my t shirt. It was a "gotta have", that kind of deal for me, as it's purple, my favorite color, of course.
It was necessary to return for yet another shirt, the gals posing here, are such a wonderful addition to the good will that music brings forth. I had thought one of the black shirts would look good on our son, but we couldn't be sure if he would want to wear it. "He is in The Bynars", my husband said, "& there's always the possibility that he wouldn't want to wear another bands shirt." I considered what he said, it made sense, but I also thought, perhaps as a musician, that musicians would support one another. It was a delima, so I phoned him & left a message, also saying that it was way too noisy at the concert to speak on the phone when he gets to call back. Well I wasn't in my seat 2 minutes, when we received a text from him. The message said, "Get the shirt."
This is Dan, who is President of the Hartford Jazz Society. He's very dedicated & devoted to keeping Jazz alive in downtown Hartford. He's an excellent speaker, & a friendly & fine gentleman to be sure.
On stage now is Rolando Matias & the Afro-Rican Ensemble. They are so loved by the audience, as many people could not resist the beat & the impulse to dance.
The Connecticut State Capitol in all it's glory. Thank goodness for public spaces such as Bushnell Park. Bushnell Park's grounds melt onto the grounds of the State Capitol, it is a real melting pot for all of us. All of this-- It is ours, to respect, to take care of, & to enjoy. City parks are just about the best places in this country for us to get out of our private neighborhood worlds, to revisit one another, & to continue to remind ourselves that we really are, all of us, all in this together, "so help us God".
I was told that during the weekend that there were thousands of people on this lawn for the Jazz Festival, the brown trampled grass is the evident reminder.

It was an excellent evening of Jazz, & the Hartford Jazz Society has a superb way of welcoming all, just by enjoying what they do, as the music was spirited & embracing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Working The Material, One Stitch At A Time--

So far, during these dog days of summer, it has been busy, good busy but nonetheless busy.

I've been catching up with emails & phone calls with family & friends, & even had a much needed hair appointment on Wednesday. Yesterday we visited with our son's family. My husband & son did the golf thing, & I along with my two grandchildren went to see Toy Story 3 , of which we saw in 3D, & it was truly *excellent, a most definite if you're into animated make believe, of which our generation grew up with. The 3D was nice & all, but really not necessary to enjoy this movie, which gets thumbs up from this Nana, & my traveling "Peanut Gallery" too.

Today I need to put together a caring food item package, for a friend from our Sisterhood , who's dear mother passed away, earlier of this week. I will be going to her home this afternoon for a visit & I want to bring something that will comfort the heart. Sometimes putting together a food related item can be a stress, as I'm not much of a cook anymore & probably never was, but so many high end items that are already prepared can be readily obtained, so I need not ever stress over a food related topic again, for "food is sustenance, & therefore love, & love heals".

I just got off the phone a few minutes ago with my mother. We are planning an old fashioned family Barb-B-Q here next week, & we needed to firm up her traveling plans, as she lives an hour an a 1/2 away, & if the weather is good she wants to drive, but if we have thunder storms in the forecast I will be picking her up, for she's 83 now, & though she drives herself here there & everywhere, she prefers not to do so when there is a wet forecast, due to the windshield glare.

As we speak our 27 year old son is preparing for the Bar Exam. This is a stressful time for him, & all recent Law School Graduates. He's getting there, one page, one volume at a time, & even with a recent course to prepare for this exam, we know he is feeling the accumulated effects of all this stress. As a family we have always done what we can to nurture & support one an other's dreams. We know he will be successful with this & are prayerfully hopeful, yet also know that this is his journey, his path, his life, & it will happen "all in good time". We share in what he is feeling, yet will continue to remain positive & hopeful, & see a wide horizon.

I have made some good progress this week in an important creative endeavour of my own, for I finally have begun to put together a first time, rough draft, character sketch of a play that's been in the forefront of my mind. I had a bit of a set back the other day, with old molded thinking of asking myself, how will I get this work out there once it's done & in hand, but I let all those feelings wash over me, [it did wash for a while though] but did not let myself absorb the toxicity of holding on to doubtful thoughts & thinking, & instead, allowed the wave of possibilities to re enter my creative thinking process once again. For I so believe in the creativity that God has given me, which is a gift & as I continue on this road, my path in life, I too remind myself of the inspiring words of Pope John Paul, which I've often shared with my own family when they too have been facing doubt, to be--"Be not afraid".


{For God is with us Always.}

[In the above photo is a pair of favorite jeans I am patching. The blue topped rounded container, next to the rectangular sewing box, is a handmade pin cushion that my 27 year old son made & gave to me for Mothers Day, when he was 11 years old, in 1999. "Time does fly", take my word, it's all very true, & for a mother it can be, "one stitch at a time", too.]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

These Dog Days Of Summer

There she is on top of the roof out there, listening to & watching the wildlife. If only she would stay in the yard, she wouldn't have to spend time in a kennel.
My very loyal pooch, but she can be a wanderer if you let her. She does have quite the delicate palate. Here she is drinking the dew off of my plants. Dolly's version of a first cup of coffee, yes she is, a true gourmet.

Today was a busy sort of day, with good errands & intentions. A dear friend of ours is dealing with a very unpleasant case of shingles, so along with some emails back & forth of, "The Ice Cream Chronicles", once it was decided what flavors it was to be, I was off literally & figuratively, with a bell on, [in hand at the very least].

I also began gathering together some materials so I can do a batch of "peace flags" this summer, in time for the UN International Day of Peace, which is slated to take place in September. I did this project several years ago with the children of the area, it was a lot of fun, & they really did a wonderful job decorating their flags, which later on were displayed at our local school.

Dolly has been enjoying more of my free time since I've been on sabbatical from my former job. Yesterday morning as I was having my first coffee of the day, there she was perched on the plywood awning that my husband put up, out in her kennel, to give her a bit of relief from the strong hot sun. She must be related to Snoopy, being up there on top of the world, getting a bird's eye view of things. Can you spot her, up on the roof out there?

I will say this, though having a dog is a lot of work & responsibility, it does have it's pluses, besides a friendly & loyal friend, there is also the clown element of, bizarre situations that in all honesty I couldn't make them up. Heartwarming & with hearty laughter, brought to me by my favorite mutt who is both, funny & sweet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"The Bynars", Our Favorite Boston Based Band, Live & In Person

A really cool venue, & we arrived early enough to enjoy the views....
Our son Mike, the drummer of this really cool band, has been playing with The Bynars for just about 2 years now. I have of course heard several of their CDs, but this is the first of a live performance that I was able to attend, & I must say, they not only have excellent stage presence, but a really unique sound, most excellent.
This fountain graces the entrance of the Arsenal Center for the Arts, of where last night's performance was held.
The above is one of their newest T's, with a very cool design.
My husband, father of the drummer, proudly wearing his Bynars T shirt, & posing with our tickets to the event.
Many happy fans that evening.....
My husband, talking to Rosemary, the mother of Ben who plays synths, visiting a bit, prior to the performance.
This gracious gentleman was the Center's ticket taker, he is posing next to a collage, of the ideal, "non polluted" sea.
The entire band on stage-- Ben at the left on synths, Mike next to him on drums, Matt forefront at the guitar, & Kiel to the right playing bass.
Some stage scenery, which resembled a cityscape from a heightened view on entering from outer space, which is an essential element of The Bynars ongoing theme.
Our son & favorite drummer, Mike, halfway through the show, before the end of intermission.
Good friends from childhood to present, who are of the Boston scene, seated above.
Matt in the forefront, on the guitar & doing his excellent vocals, & Mike at the drums, keeping time, & providing that, full sound beat.
Kiel the integrally talented bass player in the photo above, visiting with some of the band's friendly fans.
Ben at his synth talking music with a fan, you can just feel the passion & joy of his love of music. The final posing of The Bynars together on stage after this "encore performance", from left to right-- Kiel, Mike, Ben, & Matt

Last night we had an excellent time hearing The Bynars play to a nearly full house at--
The Arsenal Center for the Arts, in Watertown, Ma., this past Tuesday evening July 13th, 2010. It was an exciting experience to behold. The music was fresh, original & energetic. The Bynars & their four person, Boston based band include--

Mike Champ [Drums/Vocals]

Matt Jatkola [Guitar/Lead Vocals]

Ben Mettey [Synths]

Kiel Szivos [Bass]

This band is a bright star in the galaxy of 21st century music, & are a definite "must hear", "must see", as they have that possible "magic", that needs to be experienced!

On the web at [] * [] * []

Monday, July 12, 2010

"No Matter Where You Go, There You Are"

My husband wasted no time in adding his artistic input to the California coastal scape I arranged in our living room. The driftwood displayed is from his collection of what was sent home. As you can see he let nature express it's self, in the sculptured world of art. Nice touch.

Next to my husband's driftwood piece is a redwood cone from the Howard Creek area, of Westport, Ca. , & also the aspect of an abalone shell obtained from the really cool, Stinson Beach shop. Everything arrived home safe & sound, including us.
The final photo shows Spider Man on our kitchen's windowsill, contemplating a future climb onto Mike Jackson's, chainsaw honed, cut from redwood, *tree. It was quite the thrill to see that this delicate piece arrived safely intact. Though it is mini, in our house it really is, a big deal.

Life in this neck of the woods has been good, hot, humid & steamy, but nonetheless, good. Last week we reconnected with our fam* & friends, & over the weekend we went to the movies & dinner with our extended family. We saw "Despicable Me", which was different, but good. We pretty much, just about took up close to an entire row at the theatre, that, with a couple of giant tubs of popcorn, & our various drinks, [as I had coffee], it was the best, of the best movie going I ever did, & from ages 6-62, we all found something to laugh about.

When we were all visiting Saturday evening, it was a lot of fun to share the various souvenirs I had gathered for every one. Rocks & shells, area topic magnets, city-scapped shot glasses, & even a couple of mini Teddie Bears, all favorites & sent home in advance, as my luggage was already bulging. We will be having an old fashioned Bar-B-Q at the end of the month, hopefully by then I will have learned how to utilize the photos from our trip for a slide show on the "big screen". I then plan on having the driftwood out for all to see, & for everyone to make their various choices to take home.

Yesterday evening before it got dark we gave Dolly a bath, she seemed to like it, & I plan on continuing to work with her over the summer, so her mannerful-dogie ways, are Aok for our fam*. So far so good, as she & I are making excellent progress.

{It seems the spell check is not functioning for this posting right now, so I'll load up some photos in a while, & try the spell check again too. Ok, all set again--

The above titled Confucius quote is so very true. For our trip we left within weeks of my departure from my former job, of a very busy & productive decade & it is now time for me to prioritise, just how I want to get various projects, tasks & ongoing goals completed. Decisions, decisions, decisions. My list is long, but certainly very doable, for-- "No matter where I go, there I am."

As are, we all.

{Folk art* from the California coast can be obtained by contacting: Mike Jackson
OREQ Enterprise P.O. Box 402/120789 Hwy. 101/Orick, Ca. 95555/phone# 707-488-23-40
email: []

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Less Is More That's True, & Just Enough Is Plenty

The amounts of driftwood seemed boundless, a lot, made it home, not all of course.
Gee if only we had a box big enough....

When we were in Trinidad, California on the way up the coast we stopped at a beach along the way to The Redwood Forrest. On the beach my husband discovered beautiful pieces of driftwood. There was so much driftwood, all interesting, beautiful, & unique of course, natures art. We gathered our choices into a pile or two, then into several bags, & into the trunk of our rental car. We knew it would be impossible to carry it all home in our luggage, way too cumbersome.

Well thanks to the U.S. Mail, & much to our relief, finally, the big box of what we shipped, arrived today. My husband within a few short hours created a small free form sculpture out of one of his pieces. "Home, Sweet, Home", it looks so very sweet, right here. Yes, quite the still life, of a tree's past life, to enjoy in our life, the here & the now.

{I'll include my husband's freeform driftwood/sculpture piece at another posting, as the room is far too dark to photograph it well.}

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Epilogue, A View From Here--

We've been home since July 2nd. Thinking back to the planning of this "dream come true" trip it all has been quite amazing. I am a definite lover of the sky miles on high, as air travel is really the best. I know there are more hassles with it now, nonetheless I do embrace what is being done, as it is necessary for our safety. My husband & I came to flying a bit later in life, so there aren't many flights to compare these recent trips with. It is always a challenge for me to give up that kind of personal, off the ground control to someone else, but I figure, if the pilot is having a good day, then so are we, plain & simple. When passing the cockpit on entering the plane I say "hi", to those in the cockpit & on disembarking, to also thank the people, who ultimately made our trip possible, with prayers before, during & after these in flight experiences.

We live in a vast, beautiful country & all of the people we encountered along the way were courteous, & friendly. The Peace Garden's postings were a wee sampling of our encounters, both with nature & our fellow humankind.

During our flight out at the beginning of our journey I wrote a poem in tribute to all the creatures & people of the Gulf, [of which I will post at an other time]. My heartfelt poem is only a skimming reality, a mere bubble, on the ocean's surface, compared to all the devastation of our ecosystem that continues to be going on....

I am very grateful & appreciative of what we "still" have regarding the "purity & beauty" of our "natural world." Even now it is almost impossible to describe what it is like to be in "real time", with the magnificent trees we just visited-- love, joy & appreciation overwhelms me, as it is a very deep, spiritual connection.

This "magical mystery" of a tour, for our 40th Wedding Anniversary, has refortified our commitment to "all" that is "good", with "environmental, ecological & conservation preservation", always at the top, like a tree, a Redwood.
"So help us God."