An Invitation to Meander

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Sometimes the imagination flows freely and

creativity flows easily.  Other times the writer’s

block tries to call a halt!  Those are the times

that Mother Nature is there in response.

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Today I invite my readers to meander

through colorful gardens.  Skies.  Water.

Birds are practicing flying through the

yard from limb to limb, singing.  A new

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family of wrens has hatched. In and out

activity to feed the young.  It is quite

enjoyable from my vantage point.  The

birdhouses in all of our trees are full.

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When I gaze at a body of water, I feel an

immediate sense of calm and release of

troubles.   Walking unleashes ideas in

my mind.  Words.  Poetry.  Meanderings.

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Time for a pause.  Time to recharge the

batteries.  Conversations with passing

neighbors.  A reality check.  Enjoy the

blossoms, the colors, the sunset.

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Posted in gardens, meanderings, Mother Nature, poetry, writer's block | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Meet the New Family!

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Whenever we hang flowering baskets on the front porch,

a new family of house finches build nests inside the basket.

Without fail, the yellow flowers were flattened as the

nest was built by busy Mom and Pop Finch.

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My husband carefully watered the flowers.  We hoped

that they would still be alive after our week away for

graduation.  We joke that the porch belongs to these

birds. With a clutch of 5 eggs, the nesting and

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incubation periods will last about one month.

The rocking chairs will be used after the little ones have

left.  Carefully placed bird houses and a feeder dot our property.

A cacophony of bird song greets us daily. For now,

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Mother Finch lets us know we are too near

her precious offspring.  We yield to her insistent

wishes. Our photos reveal soft balls of gray down, eyes

closed and huddled together. House finches are

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social birds who often perch on overhead power lines.

This morning other young birds were practicing flying.

Clumsy.  In the backyard, a house wren added twigs

to the small bird house.  We love the entertainment!

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Cleanup is another matter.  The car wash helps clean

the vehicles. A handful of wet paper towels, some with

added drops of dish detergent take care of the siding

on our house.  Who has encroached whom? Take a guess!

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Posted in hanging flower basket, house finch, house wren | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Milestones Achieved

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She was of uncommon beauty, my Dad declared

upon seeing our daughter for the first time.  We

blinked and time flew by.  Left home for college.

BA degree. Paralegal job.  More studies.  RN degree.

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Soon a traveling nurse who was good at her job.

Thirsting for knowledge, a BS in nursing.

Then fulltime hospital job. Master of Science

degree. While working fulltime, she pursued

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course work part-time three years and AGNP. 

Board exams next.  Who knows what the future holds?

I still see the little girl who came home from

school, dropped her book bag on the living

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room floor and sat down to do her homework.

Unlike her older brother who came home to

eat a snack and play before doing homework.

Work first.  Then snack.  Then play for our daughter.

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A white coat now with a slew of initials after

her name.  We traveled to celebrate her

graduation.  Then a surprise trip to the

hospital in Mineola where my husband’s

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Dad was an MD for more than 40 yrs. Our daughter

arranged the visit to take photos with her

Dad in front of the dedication those many

moons ago. Early Father’s Day gift. She

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followed in the family footsteps on both

sides of the family with careers in the medical

profession.  Smiling down from above, all

the relatives celebrated her achievements.

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At the risk of sounding maudlin, we are

proud of both our children, attorney and

nurse practitioner.  May they find abundant

contentment in their careers and marriages!

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Love knows no boundaries. We wish a

lifetime of happiness and joy for them,

our handsome son and daughter of

uncommon beauty.  Let the heavens rejoice!

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Posted in Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, graduation Stony Brook University, MD commeration, milestones, white coat | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

An Unquenchable Thirst for Knowledge

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Mary Elizabeth was born on May 14.  Early on, she

possessed a thirst for knowledge.  Languages, literature,

and history intrigued her.  When informed she had

to have a study hall in high school, she made it work for her.

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The high school Principal was also a history teacher who

taught small groups in the study hall room.  Mary Elizabeth

positioned herself to be next to the history class where

she listened and learned; the odious study hall was a history class!

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A voracious reader, my mother, Mary Elizabeth was a

creative spirit whose skills were boundless:  piano, poetry,

sewing, tailoring as well as traveling.  She and her younger sister

both graduated from nursing school as Registered Nurses.

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During breaks in nursing school, my mother played the piano.

The others gathered around and sang along.  Once my mother

came to the rescue of a fellow student in chemistry class.  When

her friend accidently dropped a tray of instruments, the doctor

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teaching the class began to raise his voice in anger. 

My mother quickly dropped down next to the other

student to help clean up and assumed the blame for the

accident.  Since the doctor favored my mother, he soon

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dismissed the accident.  Knowing the other student was

a good one who happened to be nervous, my mother did

a noble deed.  Neither spoke of this while in school.  My

mother received an annual Christmas card of thanks.

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As a young adult, I read one of the cards and asked my

mother about this nurse.  Imagine my pride when I heard

how she saved a fellow student from dismissal from

nursing school!  Apparently, the doctor in charge was

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notoriously ill-tempered.  At that moment, Mary Elizabeth

became my heroine!  My mother had compassion for others and

helped when she could.  She imparted these lessons to

her four daughters, She and my father believed we should

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be reared to be independent females with our own careers.

Thank you, Mom in heaven now.  You were a great role model.

You were a wonderful, beautiful mother. On this May 14, I

wish you a Happy Birthday!  You are an angel among angels.

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Posted in Happy Birthday, Mother, my role model, nursing school, Registered Nurse | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Watch Where You Step!

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Inspiration happens in odd places it seems.

On a rare sunny, warm day, my husband

was startled by what awaited on the front step.

Not one, not two but three snakes!  My blog

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took shape at that moment.  Early May in our neck

of the woods is a time to observe Mother Nature’s

activities.  The feeder is empty.  My husband says the

birds can wander and forage food now.

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That still does not stop the various shapes, sizes, and

colors from alighting on the now-empty feeder. 

Amusing.  My husband and I decided on a short junket to

Cazenovia where a favorite coffee shop and an

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Artisan’s shop awaited.  We were not disappointed.

Homemade blueberry lemonade accompanied lunch. The

coffee shop was a project between the local high school and

community.  An inviting fireplace with comfortable

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leather chairs beckon guests to sit and linger over

coffee and conversation.  A piano awaits nimble fingers.

Local poets read their poetry aloud.  Framed artwork is

hung on the walls.  Cazenovia is also a college town.

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The outing evoked memories of my mother and grandmother

whose birthdays fall in May.  Blueberry picking and pies

both made to perfection.  Spirits renewed, we returned

home after a relaxing ride home off the beaten path.

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We watch our step now as we make our way to the

front porch rocking chairs where we read or greet

neighbors and inquire about school, work, health.

We wish our mothers a Happy Mother’s Day!

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Posted in Cazenovia Artisan's Shop, Cazenovia, New York, Happy Mother's Day, homemade blueberry lemonade, Mother's Day, snakes | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Spring Cleanup

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The weather finally cooperated for our spring

cleanup.  Or almost.  Last day of April. Chilly

winds prevail.  Snow in the forecast tonight.

Spring weather in Upstate New York!

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Three new Swiss Stone Pine trees grace the

side property where a dead bush had been

removed.  Weeding, mulching, topsoil to

our garden beds.  Gardening has been a

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part of life since my Massachusetts

childhood.  Later came the arid earth of the

Colorado prairies.  Gardens followed in the

warmer growing zones of the South.

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Tulips still push up and showcase the various

colors.  I recall tending Dad a one-acre garden

plot filled with vegetables which our Mom

preserved.  A sense of satisfaction.

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Both of our children take delight in Mother

Nature.  A busy, noisy woodpecker made its

presence known in our son’s wooded area.

Colorful butterflies flit about in his flowers.

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Our daughter also sends beach photos from her

daily runs on the beach.  These days we are

content to tend our end of the pond.  Our

garden will take longer to mature.  Meanwhile,

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new plants grow indoors under the lights.

When the danger of frost and snow abates,

new seedlings can be transplanted outdoors

How does your garden grow?   

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Posted in butterflies, gardens, our end of the pond, spring cleanup, Swiss Stone Pine trees, woodpecker | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Ode to Tulips

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Sing of my colors!  Plant me in gardens!

Admire my beauty!  Chefs use me as culinary

decoration adorning food such as salads.

They prepare a vinaigrette, sauces, and dips with tulips.

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The petal color determines the flavor of the tulips.

Red is sweet; white is spicy; yellow can be bitter.

These edible petals are famous, versatile and

medicinal.  From far and wide, people travel to

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observe the beauty of these magnificent flowers.

Recently our daughter and her husband traveled to

a festival of tulips on Long Island. Most folks know

that the Netherlands burst forth with an array of tulips

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in glorious colors each Spring.  They undergo seasonal

emotions and are hardy.  In our spring snow this past

week, we found the tulips still standing but leaning

together for warmth.  Today they are lavishing the sun.

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A symbol of rebirth each spring, tulips are like

humans.  They have a lifespan from birth to upright

position.  Tulips bloom in many shapes, sizes, and colors

until their demise after fading with age.  I have never

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tasted a tulip petal but have been known to consume a

nasturtium which are harvested for their leaves and

flowers.  Some folks consume dandelion greens in salads

and make a wine from them.  For now, I am content

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to admire the colorful beauty of the tulips in our

gardens.  Shapes, sizes, colors, and textures have

intrigued me in artwork.  Quilters and sewing artists

have long had a love affair with the colorful tulip.

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Posted in culinary decoration, edible flowers, festival, lifespan of tulips, tulips | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Change

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Changes in our lives can make us happy or sad.

Love change?  Despise change?  Indifferent to change?

It forever alters our lives for better or for worse. 

Do you flip flop on change?  Set in your ways?

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Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Fixed

In your ways?  Do you belong to the school

of thought that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

Does change make you uncomfortable?

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How about a change of pace?  A change

of scenery?  Or shall I simply change the

subject?  Do you see the writing on the wall?

Change can be difficult but is necessary.

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This weekend I will observe people and

their comments as they change where to sit.

Chairs moved at church.  So?  Pianos, organ,

music books, microphones, and music stands.

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All changed to the corner.  Acoustics?

Visual cues?  Sound system?  Changes.

Some folks are creatures of habit.  I recall

attending workshops which sometimes

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lasted a couple days.  We always sat in

the same seat as if it belonged to us.

The jury is still out with seating arrangements

at church.  Time will tell. Positive, negative,

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rigid or inflexible, the choir has a temporary place

as new carpets and chairs are installed.  A welcome

change of pace?  A breath of fresh air?  Will we grumble

or accept change gracefully?  Hmm.  Let’s see!

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Posted in change, choir, church | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Fit as a Fiddle

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Maintaining good physical health is important

to our family.  We try to eat a nutritious

diet and include exercise and hydration. We

consider mental health part of our well-being. 

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During the Easter season, our daughter

invited us to join her for a spa visit.

Formerly we considered this self-indulgent;

however, now we consider it part of wellness.

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Singing in the shower or around the house are

relaxing, rewarding and fun. Taking walks in the

neighborhood or at the lake are beneficial

to the heart and mind.  Carefree.  Happy.

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Smiles, laughter, conversations, hobbies,

reading, writing, lifelong learning. Nurturing

spiritual well-being.  Music, practicing

foreign languages as well as hobbies

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are equally beneficial.  Visiting art museums and

doing photography benefit our mental health.   Stress

melts away quickly when we learn to take care

of ourselves.  During the spa visit and lunch

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afterwards, we felt relaxed and at ease.

Mental, emotional, and physical health dealt with in

one simple spa visit.  Massages, pedicure.

Resting. Fireplace. Relaxation pool in view.

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No talking or electronic devices.  Whispers only.

Simple to do and yet difficult for some.

We heed our spiritual side too.  Maintaining

good habits is a ritual of sorts.   

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Hale and hearty.  Good health means

taking care of the entire being.  Proper

breathing.  Maintaining friendships. Reaching

out to others.  Practicing the Golden Rule!

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Posted in fit as a fiddle, friendships, hale and hearty, spa visit, well being | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Mother Nature’s Sense of Humor

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 Mother Nature provided us an April Fool’s joke.

Spring snow. That is Upstate New York. Our

daffodils shivered in the cold, windy garden.

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Tis’ Easter season with ladies wearing

their finery and Easter bonnets of all

colors decorated with flowers. New

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shoes and winter coats.  What?  Our

apple tree sports big plastic eggs

blowing in the chilly wind.   We brave

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the weather and put on a happy

face.  Customs and traditions.  Off

to church we go!  Our Dad took

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photos of his wife and four daughters.

These days, some ladies wear hats for

Easter.  Smaller scale.  Less flowers.

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The lilacs and forsythia bushes have

buds and will open soon despite

Mother Nature’s gift and humor.

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Hope springs eternal.  Hope

overcomes the cold and snow.

Easter joy remains in our hearts.

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Posted in April snow, Easter finery, hope, Mother Nature, sense of humor | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments