Thursday, July 30, 2015

Seldom Seen #19

They say that we all have addictions,
whatever your age or conditions.

Diane and I share one together,
no matter the time or the weather.

Winter, spring, summer or fall.
We run to the frig. down the hall.

No Pepsi can crosses our lips,
It's Coke, be it home or on trips.

Today as I drove into town,
I saw this and almost knelt down.

So seldom seen actually delivering,
I broke into sweat and a shivering!

Long live Diet pleasant addiction!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Seldom Seen #18

I guess when your car goes off into a ditch or you're driving by at 30 mph you don't view a ditch as anything more than...well, a ditch.

The area of Harborcreek where we live still has quite a number of streets with open drainage ditches the length of them. In the summer, precisely these 2-3 weeks, the ditches are in bloom--with the wildflowers indigenous to northwest Pennsylvania. If you're walking by them you get a up close view of some beautiful natural arrangements including lots of chicory (blue) and Queen Anne's Lace.

Our daily backyard visitors,  now that the apples have appeared, include a doe and her fawn, other doe and two young bucks. All getting along pretty well from what we can see! They all love the apples, grapes at Benetwood, and even the crab apples that are abundant on many trees this summer.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Two events--one happy, one very sad

We attended our first Erie Philharmonic lunch time concert. They are held 3-4 times in the summer and feature one section of the orchestra. Today was a brass quintet.

Daniel Meyer was there to plug the upcoming season for the orchestra especially the pops concerts. Beautiful weather,  great music, Erie at its summer best.

Five hours later and 2 miles away, we attended the latest Take Back the Site prayer vigil for a woman killed in late June. There was a very large crowd in attendance, lots of friends and family.

This is the first of three vigils we'll be having, as two more homicides happened in the first two weeks of this month, one has shocked the city as a 14 year old shot an 18 year old who wouldn't give him his bike. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ecstasy and Agony

This weekend brought ecstasy and agony.

The Ecstasy,courtesy of Mary Oliver.

"Some questions you might ask"

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn't?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think about it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?

The Agony:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seldom Seen #17

This is the first of 5 trellises revealed here. This is the Seldom Seen one, as it is in a little bricked-in garden off of the prioress's apartment and seldom seen. Its trellis is really wobbly and weather-beaten, but being in a corner, it seems to be able to hold up the yearly crop of lovely white and purple flowers. July is their blossoming month.

I had great fun over the last couple of years trying to get these three trellises and their climbing plants going. This one has the plant that's having the hardest time--it bloomed early, then withered up and died, but seems to be coming back again.

This trellis and the next one were "stolen" by yours truly and brought to the inner courtyard. I "found" them leaning up against the Mount, totally devoid of any climbing plant and really "invisible" up against the building. So I pulled them out, got one of our great maintenance guys to secure them up against the building here and started plants under them.

As you can see, they are both doing pretty well. I laugh to myself every time I see them and remember them living in obscurity in the back of the house. Now they will be front and center for years to come.

Here is the oldest, largest and most seen--the one behind the Blessed Mother statue. It really needs to be trimmed and some of it dug out so that it's not so thick and overwhelming. Its flowers are beautiful nonetheless. Maybe this fall...

Monday, July 13, 2015

NAH is 20

Congratulations to the Neighborhood Art House for twenty years of providing literary, performing and visual arts to children of the northeast center city neighborhoods of Erie. They celebrated the anniversary Sunday with a three-hour ice cream social with loads of events for children and top notch entertainment for the adults. The setting was a warm, sunny summer afternoon and both present and past students and teachers stopped by for a glorious reunion!

Here's Sergio with a unique face painting at the 20th anniversary gathering.

Erie's #1 music group, Tennessee Back Porch, thrilled the NAH attendees with three non-stop hours of music. They are beyond fabulous!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Seldom Seen #16

The arbor and its surroundings that are tucked away in the corner of the library courtyard. It has recently been spiffed up and was given in memory of the parents of one of our sisters who's into gardens and beauty--big time!

The two hanging gliders are perfect for spending some time just swinging and "listening" to the quiet out there.

The gurgling of the fountain is very soft but the view into the rest of the garden is lovely. A true hide-away that probably even many of our regular visitors have missed,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Life at Lakeview

A fuzzy tree!

The course has a number of old, old willows. All are beautiful.

Daisies are out all over town.

Red berries for the birds on these bushes.

The "water holes" are made less menacing by scenes like this.

And this.

Grapes are very small and quite green at this time of summer.

Lots of the arrangements hold a variety of summer blossoms.

This is along East Lake Road, less than a mile from us. A huge, long array of orange tiger lilies. Click any photo to enlarge.

The three-day holiday weekend was beautiful in Erie--no rain, lots of sun and warmth. We are blessed and very grateful--after a rainy June! That said, I had the opportunity to play golf twice (!) which is unheard of, but it's a matter of "taking the opportunity" as the next few weekends are busy, busy! Here are scenes from Lakeview Golf Course, a lovely, rural, yet very well-kept nine-hole course on the PA-NY border near us. I grabbed my camera at every hole and this is what we found. 

Yes, we did golf, too!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Seldom Seen #15

We have a very large patio on the back of the monastery. It's probably about 15' wide and as long as the dining room and community room together, maybe 60'. It's a great place for eating meals outdoors, for the special morning prayer we had during retreat, and for guests to mingle at summer events. However, a few years ago we were having "troubles" with the many birds that inhabit our woods, creek and lakeside. One of our sisters read about how birds will fly clear of owls, so she purchased two "fierce" looking plastic owls and, sure enough, the problems disappeared.

This is our usual view of the owls we have on the patio--keeping watch.

This is the seldom seen view that the birds encounter if they venture too near! Fierce.

However, we do like owls and hear them often in our woods. So here's yet a third view of them:

Owl Poem

One has to say this for the rounds of life
that keep coming and going; it has worked so far.
The rabbit, after all, has never asked if the grass wanted to live.
Any more than the owl consults with the rabbit.

Acceptance of the world requires
that I bow even to you,
Master of the night.

Mary Oliver