Sunday, July 30, 2017

Shuffling off

Throughout the summer, in every Sunday newspaper, we've seen large PR inserts for tourist attractions in the summertime in Buffalo, NY. Now this is the Buffalo that ended only 2" behind us in the winter snowglobe snow accumulation contest for winter 2016-17!

We have a friend that is a Buffalo native and we accompanied her to Canalside, the summer events in downtown Buffalo and I have to say, "They are wonderful." Additionally, a large part of them are free, parking is also free or reasonable (depending on what you find) and there were people galore enjoying the water activities, the gorgeous gardens, the tours, music and food. I highly recommend it if you live in the area and would like a one-day getaway.

Here's the view from our lunch table, kayaks and a bike pedaling pontoon for one! They added a floating Tiki bar this year, too.

Both a large plastic checkers and chess set can be played on the boardwalk.

The gardens are beautiful and they line 1/2 mile or so of riverside walkways.

Military monuments and older ships are in permanent dock along the river, too. They are so big!

Though many of Buffalo's factories of the 20th century are abandoned, General Mills is still there. They produce Gold Medal flour, Lucky Charms and Cherrios. The smell was evidence of their production.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Our beloved creek

Seven-Mile Creek is getting a long-awaited assistance this week as the work to improve the creek's flow, clean up the creek generally and strengthen the sides and counter the effects of erosion have begun.

Thanks to an environmental grant that will cover the great majority of the work, our beloved creek (and a favorite among fishing folk, hikers and guests) will be given a much-needed environmentally sound new look.

Here's a photo from over 3 years ago of the "island" of shale that was accumulating in the middle of it.

And here's how it looks today---along with other work-in-progress photos.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


It's a quiet week in "Lake Wobegone" east--in Erie. The Roar on the Shore annual motorcycle rally last weekend is now over and the annual Presque Isle Days, next weekend, is not here yet, so we are caught in between two major events of the area--and it's somewhat calmer. That said, we had a large "crowd" here for Mass Sunday and a marvelous sermon/homily/reflections by our presider, who gave a unique and creative twist to the well-known parables of the sower and of the mustard seed. We are so blessed with such fine priests for our Sunday liturgies.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A symphony

Our long-term guest from Australia describes our spring and summer here in the US Northeast as being like a musical symphony. "Certain flowers come out and then in their time fade away, just as the next group is blooming. They have their designated time and then pass on into the background as the next ones come forth. This has been going on ever since May!"

I think she is quite poetic and has indeed captured the spring and summer blossoms here in our area.

This week the daisies are nearing the end of their 2017 showing and the Black-eyed Susans are just coming out.

P.S. She gets the biggest kick, however, out of our Night-blooming Evening Primrose. Like so many guests, she has never seen anything like them before! Ditto, all of us, the first year.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

On the beach

Princeton archives
Original F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts
Daring heist
Charming antique bookshop and owner
Novice spy for the FBI
Camino Island, Florida
John Grisham's summer contribution
Clever story, great writing!

Nerdy scientist raising 2 daughters
Assistant needs green card
Modern day Taming of the Shrew
You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar:
"Why you want to catch flies, vinegar girl?"
Kate and Pyotr
Last chapter: 11 years later
Anne Tyler-the best dialogue writer ever!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our Lady of Sorrows

Today we're asking for your prayers. Last week a horrendous car crash occurred in our town. It killed all three men who were in a car that crashed into a large tractor trailer on a major state highway that runs through the middle of our city. The car was traveling at 90-100 mph and investigators still aren't sure whether it was a medical emergency of the driver or a malfunction in the accelerator that caused it. First responders said the scene looked like something out of an airplane crash rather than a car accident.

Three close friends, Butchie, Willie and Scooter, two 65 and one 72, died instantly. The city is mourning these men who died in this shocking accident. Please remember their families and friends in your prayers.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Coming Home

Coming Home I
Sleeping in my bed
The pillow fits as it should
Ah, it must be home!

Coming Home II
Will I remember?
The chant welcomes the new day
I join in one sound.

Coming Home III
Can't you feel the air?
I know it now and anywhere
Home is only here.

This is the yellow day lilies' time.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer meditation

From Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Here's a treat: listen to Mary Oliver read this poem herself! Here.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Plants and things

A few years ago a gift store's advertisement declared that it was the place for "plants and things." For some reason that term stuck with me and I often use it whenever I'm talking about plants and any other things. Thus, today's sharing: Plants and things.

We all know that going out of town, on vacation or even overnight for 24 hours is a major decision if you have pets (especially cats or birds) and/or plants. They don't want a break in their routine and they want that routine delivered by you!

Just leaving for two weeks caused me to ask two sisters if they could water my plants. One gets the six ferns in the dining room and the ficus in the community room. The ferns, especially will make me "pay" when I get home. They will drop fronds everywhere and cry out in dryness, but I'll talk and coo to them for the first week or so and be especially careful and generous with water and plant food. They'll come around. The second sister has less persnickety ones: a dozen in the library, another dozen in two offices and the ficus in the foyer at the main entrance. They might not even know I'm away--but I do worry about the orchids, they aren't blooming right now, but they are so delicate all the time it seems.

So, I thought I had done my duty and obligation to the living things in my life, but lo and behold here on vacation we inherited indoor and outdoor plants----and two fish! The plants seem to be ok, but the fish, not so much. They aren't floating on the surface, but they look a little listless. Guilt is flowing.

Plants and things, plants and things, they are always with us!

Even at Mass Saturday night--plants---which I studied and studied---and finally knew that these eight spiders were fake. Very nice fakes, but fake. Lucky them!