Friday, December 29, 2023

Minor Disappointments – & – My (Spoiler Alert) “Renfield” Movie Review

Yesterday I tried a new recipe that seemed so promising and well… was not. A sauce containing honey, raisins, pine nuts, and smoked Spanish paprika took a fastidious effort as I carefully measured out each ingredient. Sad to say, my husband and I found it lacking, perhaps acidity from citrus or tomato. Nothing stood out except what I considered an overly smoky flavor.

However good or bad this looks to you,
my guy praised my presentation...

And while he thought his lightly fried cod fillet was fine, mine seemed half raw. I hate to admit that I tossed out the last few bites. At least the fish, if indeed undercooked, didn’t make me ill.

Oh, well. We like to remember that never having a failure would make the successes less celebratory.

Moving on, I was excited to watch the movie “Renfield” on Amazon Prime. The only high point was Nicolas Cage nailing his Dracula role. For him alone I am glad we watched but the remaining so-called humor fell flat, the comedic plot points forced.

The characterizations were fine. Renfield himself was rather endearing. And Iranian/American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is always a joy; I adore her husky voice and powerful feminine presence. But while I don’t blame actress Nora Lum, Officer Rebecca grated on our nerves.

Its thin plot would have benefitted from better cohesion. More Nic Cage scenes would have definitely helped. On a final note, Renfield’s enjoyable exposition struck me as random. It’s as if the writers were being lazy.

Are you familiar with Ms. Lum’s musical and/or film performances? Doesn’t her stage name Awkwafina sound like bottled water marketed to gawky teenagers?


Thursday, December 28, 2023

Blue Skies

I saw the most astonishing cloud formation out my window yesterday. These shapes mimicked our neighbor’s tree aka the squirrel highway.
Its beauty distracted me from recognizing
the window screen marred this image.
It reminded me of the a cappella group Voiceplay covering an ELO song. They amaze me.

Are you familiar with Electric Light Orchestra’s music? If so, isn’t their range from upbeat (as above) to melancholy (video below) amazing?

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

My Latest Shopping Spree (Not)

Today I went shopping for pine nuts to make a Spanish glazed cod recipe. My husband asked me to also pick up some Bugle corn snacks. For some reason, that brand is never easy to find. This store stashed Bugles on a high shelf near bagged popcorn instead of in the chip aisle.

Photo from Walgreens convenience store/pharmacy website...

And it was a struggle for my short self to reach one of the two remaining bags. But I managed, and jokingly told my man that I knew he would have tossed me to the curb if I’d given up. I don’t understand why this General Mills product is so difficult to find here in the United States and no longer sold in Canada (something I just learned).

The whopping two other items in my cart were an unexpected discovery, chocolate covered cherries at fifty percent off. My husband looked at a box before Christmas and decided they weren’t worth the cost. Other folks must have felt the same because there must have been hundreds of the milk chocolate variety available.

The cherry cola flavor caught my interest...

In fact these proved a better deal than expected, the regular price being almost $4 (USD) while I paid under $1 (!) for each box of ten candies. I suppose the extraordinary excess inventory explains this. Maybe, if he likes these as much as his preferred dark chocolate cordials I should buy more. Why they were not advertised as such is another mystery.

Did you know Bugles were introduced in 1966 alongside two counterparts called Whistles and Daisy*s? Wouldn’t the flower shaped ones be fun, and even better than cones for dipping?

I found this on a fun website...


Tuesday, December 26, 2023

More Food Fun

The last thing we need around here are desserts. Yet since the apple strudel is gone (ahem…) I couldn’t resist baking one of the boxed cakes my husband bought. ~shakes head~ Again, I enjoyed experimenting.

Do you see what looks like an angry doggie face?

This time I decided to make an orange flavored cream cheese frosting. Instead of following a direct recipe I used less than half the recommended sugar while doubling the fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice and zest. About a tablespoon of orange blossom water kept the thin concoction, more a glaze than frosting, still a bit sweeter than I like. But I had an idea.

Woof woof!

Since discovering how well a bit of peppery heat works in sweets, I added the last few tablespoonfuls of my peach Carolina reaper wing sauce. That sweet and spicy fruitiness really made the chocolate fudge confection shine.

Would you try a sweet baked good with a little zesty kick? Do you know that Bundt pans have a registered trademark?


Monday, December 25, 2023


Well, I’ve conceded to technical blogging issues and started signing off as “- Darla”. Fighting the comment failure rate has proven a ridiculous time waster. I’ve even begun this practice on my own blog.

At least most bloggers know I often use tildes. So far, bots and/or scammers do not.

~fingers crossed I didn’t give out ideas~

Then I wondered about the definition of concession stands. Here is the derivation: from the tiniest community sites to giant stadiums, owners grant vendors permission rights. In other words, these larger institutions concede.

Isn’t modern technology both a boon and burden? Have you ever or would you like to start up a small business?


Saturday, December 23, 2023

Holiday Cheer – & – Fun Experiments with Food

A block away from my usual turn toward the main road I kept noticing an adorable holiday display and finally drove past for a photo. The tiny gingerbread house (far left) in particular caught my attention.

As usual, my image does not do this justice...

Meanwhile, we continue shopping bargains and a huge bag of potatoes inspired me to try cooking potato pancakes. Well, it didn’t work as planned yesterday; the patties wouldn’t retain their shape despite my best efforts and strict adherence to ingredients/directions. That’s okay. The tasty potato shreds fried with mushrooms and scrambled eggs won’t go to waste.

Today’s test came from my husband discovering store bought apple pie on sale. I’d rather bake something myself. We already had canned fried apples bought on sale many months ago and newer frozen pastry sheets. A quick search fitted the two perfectly. You can find the easy recipe here including an amusing story.

To my surprise, mine turned out as pretty...

Do you enjoy fruity confections? Are you familiar with turbinado sugar and its difference from other varieties?


Friday, December 22, 2023


Pet shaming photos always make us laugh. Upon finding bits of Terra’s chenille worm toys downstairs I decided to try my hand at it.

She makes us laugh daily...

I bought a bagful but numbers are dwindling. lol They are designed for a string wand toy. For whatever reason, she prefers that I toss them for her to chase and carry around.

Is it a surprise I followed her all over the house in my attempts? Isn’t it awesome that our kitties don’t ingest things like these googly toy eyes?


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Missed & Matched

Today my husband treated me to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant. After the delicious meal we received complimentary fortune cookies with our (very reasonable) bill.

His is the top slip and I couldn’t resist sharing because he is less athletic than I am; which is not saying much. Not that I believe in these little notes but it would fit if he betted on sporting events and won.

Mine, as you can guess, fits. Current events bring me down and nothing lifts my spirit more than art (and animals). On that note, my guy shared this story of a woman finding an opossum in her Christmas tree. The attached video is unrelated, by the way. Meanwhile, I found the following on Youtube.
What would you have done in her situation? Do you know the difference between possums and opossums?


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Beauty in Strange Days

Last week our convalescing friend Phoenix requested a ride to his prosthetic specialist. I’m sad to say that the 70-year-old buddy who’s been driving him around landed in hospital with decreasing heart function. I pray he recovers enough to return home. In this sad scenario I found gorgeous artwork adorning the office. Staffers told me this patient draws something new at every visit. What talent!
A stunning dragon rendition...

Do you agree that anyone this talented should be a paid art teacher? Should I ask if he would sell some of his incredible sketches?


Tuesday, December 12, 2023


After a grocery shopping trip I came home to discover Terra posing like a speed bump. We have another route from the garage door to our kitchen and I took it the second time. She cracks us up.

Taking this blurry photo is better than none...

Can you tell at bottom right that my husband stood looking down? Is this not the definition of trust?


Monday, December 11, 2023

Rice Pudding Revamped

I don’t even remember what recipe caused me to purchase instant rice. Its texture and taste make a terrible side dish compared to any other variety. We did choose a generic brand but I don’t think Minute Rice would be much better. At least the company’s website offered the simple pudding recipe my mother made on occasion.

This presentation is far prettier than mine...
As my title indicates, I changed things up. Instead of using processed sugar I doubled the raisins. And I replaced half the recommended amount of vanilla with orange blossom water. It’s excellent! In future I might not reduce the vanilla and maybe add an equal amount of the blossom water.

Is rice pudding something you’ve eaten and enjoy? Are you familiar with the fabulous Indian dessert kheer?


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Saturday, December 9, 2023

My “Peaceful” Walk in the Woods

This morning I decided to get some fresh air out in nature, and even found a new park to explore. Almost immediately I heard sirens wailing. This went on for over fifteen minutes.

I kept hoping they would stop. When rain began falling I headed back to my car. Normally I would have fetched my umbrella. Instead I left, half sick wondering what horrible thing was happening. Finally things quieted. And at this three way stop sign I had to wait as numerous emergency vehicles passed.

The trailer was covered in holiday lights. Now I understood the disturbingly loud Christmas music I’d heard blaring. ~sigh~ It must have been a nearby holiday parade.

What says Merry Christmas more than making it sound like an entire neighborhood’s burning down? At least I have lots more to explore, right?


Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Dumb, the Fun, and the Cute

Somehow I managed to post the title “Two Clarifications” after believing it deleted. Back-dated to November 1st it got buried in my timeline. ~sigh~ Twice addressing the same issue about my interaction with the lifeguard is embarrassing but I don’t really consider myself dumb, just technologically challenged. My subject tag stating the contrary is all in good fun.

In other news, my husband discovered wall plugs, a power strip, and even light bulbs that are controllable via smart phone. Now when I’ve been outside or away from home I can tell if his oxygen concentrator is on. If it’s on I know he’s napping and enter quiet as possible.

Electrical outlet controls are obviously limited to on/off but the bulbs are fun. They allow us to change intensity as well as color (!) which means we can set mood lighting for a creepy movie. Anyone who knows me in the slightest can probably guess that I sometimes enjoy messing with him from afar. Don’t judge; he does the same to me on occasion.

A Blurry Dandelion glows in the black light setting...

More cuteness comes in the form of Terra spending time near my desk on the newly purchased cat tree. She’s a bit tough to photograph being in near constant motion.

She is one of my best friends...

Precious Polly is more of a lounger. Seeing her toes dangle off a different piece of cat furniture inspired me to take photos.

She does not let me trim her claws but I do make sure her
ill-formed ‘Polly Wogs’ look healthy...

Isn’t it fortunate that Polly only uses her murder mittens for good? And had you seen a glow-in-the dark kitty before?


Friday, December 1, 2023

Chilling at Home

I complained the other day about temperatures dropping from the fifties to mid thirty degrees Fahrenheit. As I type this on Tuesday the thermometer reads 26 at 12:55 and it’s expected to drop into the teens overnight.


Hence, my plan to go lift weights has been sidelined. I’m extremely fortunate that we don’t have to go anywhere right now.
I hope it will not need mowed again this year...
How long do you think it will take my lawn to realize it’s time to go dormant? Isn’t the vibrant green misleading?


Thursday, November 30, 2023

Two Clarifications

I sure botched the wording about my most recent swim. The bodyguard didn’t stop to talk with me. Rather, he paused his walk halfway across the natatorium before our paths coincided. Rereading my words reminds me what a goofball I can be.

Ah, well.

As for my second point, I learned why our next door neighbor’s house is on the market. The couple split up. With their son long grown and moved away, the soon-to-be ex-husband doesn’t need all that space.

I always thought they were cute together. Many an afternoon I saw them take off on their motorcycle. And sharing a love of their two dogs makes me wonder if he kept his virtual shadow, aging little Maggie while she took her walking buddy Bruno. Couples throwing all their shared history out the window might be justifiable but makes me sad every single time.

Do you agree that children grown and gone seems to leave couples adrift? Is it not especially heartbreaking when the death of a child, whatever the cause, destroys a marriage?



Reading the kind comments on my November 29th post, I feel like a creep for whining over minor discomforts. My little pains have subsided with tiny adjustments, such as using my keyboard’s touch pad to solve online puzzles. I deemed it too slow versus the mouse, a silly thing considering it’s not a competition.

Meanwhile, the YMCA lifeguard might consider me a creepy old lady now. For the first time, he stopped his incessant walk halfway across the natatorium when I emerged from my latest swim, before our paths coincided. We had experienced yet another shared musical interest that day and I suppose he did not want another high five.

Thank you fellow bloggers at Laws of Gravity and Snowbrush for pointing out how my post initially seemed like the lifeguard stopped to talk with me. I can be such a goofball.

I had recognized the group called VoicePlay from his playlist. They’re amazing. My husband stumbled upon some videos just days ago. And to keep with my theme, here is one awesome Radiohead cover.

Is it creepy to wax enthusiastic with a stranger? Or was the physical contact with a palm slap a step too far?

Meanwhile, thanks to Liz and Snowbrush for pointing out my original post made it sound like the lifeguard stopped to talk with me.


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Puzzling & Reprogramming

I recently got addicted to on-line puzzles thanks to talented creators like our friends at Eastside Cats and 15 and Meowing. Yesterday I even submitted a few like the one below. The only problem is that manipulating the mouse with my right thumb tensed nonstop resulted in minor pain.
preview120pieceOne of Nature's Cutest Killers
So I’ve loosened my hold which, of course, seems to have triggered discomfort around my shoulder blade. * ~sigh~ I’ll find the right balance between technique and limiting my time on Jigsawplanet. Meanwhile, I’ve started using my left thumb to hit the space bar. Reprogramming how I type takes effort.

Isn’t it annoying when favoring one body part causes issues elsewhere? Can you believe that my hobbling around on a mildly sprained ankle resulted in injuring the other?

* Update and duh moment: The back/neck discomfort is not from changing my grip. ~shakes head~ It is due to the fact I am using the mouse for unprecedent periods.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Envious, Curious, Freaky, & Ultimately Cozy

A few days ago I popped out for some fresh vegetables and fruit. When my path is clear I like glancing around at houses. Deck systems and porches overlooking water features spark my envy. Ah, well.

Cutie mandarins; one of my tasty purchases...

What makes me curious is how seldom I see outdoor spaces being used. The single solitary person standing outside last Sunday was taking a cigarette break. I embrace every opportunity even during inclement weather.

Changing things up, here is my review of the body swapping film “Freaky”. The premise is old, of course. 1976’s and 2003’s “Freaky Friday” plus the very different eighties flick “Dream a Little Dream” come immediately to mind.

This 2020 film’s unique antics involve a serial killer and teen-aged girl. I’ve been curious to watch and took the chance after my husband fell asleep. I chose well. Its rather unusual R rating provided horrific elements; the single note humor would have bored him.

My praise centers on Vince Vaughn portraying a ditzy high school student. He was brilliant. The young actress did a fine job; her would-be killer offered little material. If you’re a huge comedy horror fan (geek) like me I recommend this and that you watch until the end.

Meanwhile, my Sunday drive through dreary conditions and windy drizzle made me oddly happy. I watched folks bustle about knowing my sole obligation was getting home unscathed. My cozy abode awaited.

Do you have access to a sheltered outdoor area? Is that something you do or would appreciate?


Monday, November 27, 2023

At the End of My Rope

Sorry for the misleading title. ~shakes head~ I couldn’t resist. And what another peculiar axiom.

Anyway, my father built three tall cat trees many years ago. They have gotten ragged over the decades but Dandelion has taken destruction to a whole new level. Sure, Polly and Terra dig into scratching posts. The cat my husband dubbed the One Fanged White Wonder has stripped some carpeted areas bald.

I knew it could be fixed with a length of rope. Failure to find what I wanted at Walmart and purchasing an unsuitable product from Amazon (it will be used as garden twine) led me to a proper hardware store. I looked everywhere except the back wall. ~rolls eyes~ After pointing it out, the older gentleman helped me measure twenty feet off a large spool.

By continuously wrapping I only
had two ends to secure...
Before he cut it I decided to make it thirty instead. And I scored a perfect fit. I didn’t even need staples or anything.

My father used a smaller rope as seen here...
Dad never quite understood feline behavior. His pristine rope demonstrates this. They prefer a wide base for claw sharpening and the destroyed carpet I replaced is accessible via a comfortably wide square perch. Dandelion loves both refurbished scratching spots.

Can you believe I picked the perfect length? My husband helped secure the end, barely visible at the very bottom of my image. Wasn’t he clever using the back of a hammer for leverage?


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Strolling Around My House

I have adored lichen and moss since childhood, always imagining teensy fairy abodes. Seeing some on our small retaining wall drew me over.

From there I walked down the southern slope gathering a few more images. Here I sensed that wabi-sabi aesthetic again.

Between these last two photos I am not quite sure which I like better. I suppose that the color is nice on this next. However, the last has its own, more unique visual interest.

Can you believe I looked up from studying the ground to discover prospective home buyers inspecting the property next door? I hope my praise of this neighborhood outweighed our rather peculiar introduction. But seriously, what are the odds?


Saturday, November 25, 2023

Kitty Nicknames

The sweet kitty lover over at the Eastside Cats blog shared this post regarding nicknames. I commented about hearing somewhere that the more nicknames a pet has collected the more love the animal receives.

I don’t know if that’s true but like the theory. The idea popped into my mind to share all our kitties’ aliases, whether gone but not forgotten or living here today.

Then I realized the list would soon become a tedious read and I don’t want to bore anyone. Heh… So, I’ll share the latest our Dandelion earned.

I have resisted all temptation to neaten my novice, ragged job...
She obviously does not care that her fur looks lopsided...

Friday morning my husband told how she woke him at 2am just like clockwork. It made me think of the creepy, dark and dystopian film “A Clockwork Orange” released in 1971.

Without hesitation, I called Dani “Clockwork Pink” and my guy cracked up. Her pink skin really is showing through since dear Strayer recommended a pet grooming tool.

Do you or have you in past had any nickname(s)? Isn’t it rather sweet that some coworkers back in the nineties called me Flower Child?


Friday, November 24, 2023

Shared Musical Tastes

Of late I’ve dedicated myself to more frequent YMCA visits, whether I swim or resistance train. Taking care of myself feels good. Because of our Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States it’s been busy this week.

Seeing kids lifting weights with parents has been pretty cute. In the natatorium children can be a loud nuisance.

But my new favorite lifeguard doesn’t let families curtail him streaming rather loud music, which makes my half hour of laps easier. So does people watching. Anyway, last week I recognized Rammstein and on Wednesday before Thanksgiving I heard Motionless in White.

Both days I said as much before heading to the locker room. And again, to this middle aged lady he replied, “Good taste. Good taste.” This time I presented my hand and we slapped an old fashioned high five.

My earlier attempt hailing him from the water failed. And since he strides around the pool, often focused on his footing, it got me thinking.

Should such a distraction be allowed? Do you enjoy people watching?


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Beauty in a Big Box Store & a Free Friendly Find

On Monday we shopped Sam’s Club, a chain store requiring a paid subscription. While prices continue rising we search the deals and returned home with, among other useful items, a huge bag of kitty litter and the smoked turkey my husband heard tastes delicious.

As for me, I have to stop and smell the flowers every time bouquets are nearby. Carnations are my favorite fragrance. This variety amazed me. Instead of spending lots of money, especially on such an ephemeral purchase, I took photos.

Succulents in bouquets...
Nice hues...

These might be passion flower buds;
I like them a lot...

What a pretty double hue...

My photo doesn't do these mystery flowers justice...

We visited a local farmers market throughout the summer. This autumn I discovered some broken off mum stems and the farmer let me take them.
Polly Paw Photo Bomb
Do you enjoy and successfully grow houseplants? Are you a fan of cut flower bouquets?

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

A Blast from the Past and Hopeful Future

When my cat Luna was alive, she spent Saturday mornings on my lap while I watched “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. The talented comedians riff on movies, making terrible films fun.

Now the group hopes to film season fourteen (!) and movie rights are expensive. Hence, they are raising funds through their Mega Turkey Day Marathon Telethon which you can learn about here.

I’d write more but want to get this posted in case you dear readers or anyone you know might be interested. Tomorrow at nine o’clock am (United States Eastern Standard Time) I plan to watch “Bride of the Monster” which should be awesome.

Did you know that musical parody is exempt from copyright law? Shouldn’t old movies be treated the same?


Monday, November 20, 2023

A Frog in a Box

Today my husband and I joked about how many missing items would be discovered whenever this house is demolished. Cat toys and treats would no doubt rank top of the list. Then he said something that made me burst out laughing.

“At least they won’t find a frog in a box.”

In case you’re not familiar, Loony Tunes released a cartoon in 1955 called “One Froggy Evening”. Only with my brief research did I learn the title. What a great pun on the cliché “one foggy night” as a novel’s opening line. Again I apologize, Liz, as I know you dislike puns. ~lowers head~ But here is the cartoon if you are interested.

Did you know cartoons once targeted adult audiences? Isn’t it a shame they are mostly distributed to sell toys?


Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Funny Flashback

I am not certain whether or not I shared this video of Polly being ridiculously adorable. So here it

Aren’t her mitten-like paws adorable? Am I not incredibly lucky that her numerous malformed toes don’t trouble the girl?


Friday, November 17, 2023

My Taste of History

Okay, I must confess to not following the entire recipe Max Miller shared. It was time consuming and very sticky. So I skipped the part where he added day of the dead decorations. After all, I’d already used two entire eggs and five (!) egg whites.

Mr. Miller prepared fancier pieces...

I did brush the risen bread with an egg white wash before baking. That extra yoke and the five white parts made a fine lunch.


In addition, after a taste test I decided against the final steps of adding a cooked flour past and two dustings of sugar. We fat folk have diabetes in this house! Lastly, I ended up with seven little loaves that melded together and froze five.

Now I’ll respond to dear blogger friend Strayer, who expressed her curiosity. I did not taste the orange blossom water beforehand. The strong scent, while nice, decided me against it.

I feared the loaves hadn’t risen as described and would be like bricks. Nope. They are delicious! While light, there is chewiness that’s a nice change from most breads we buy/bake. I also enjoyed the hint of yeast and the mild sweetness with its floral undertone. Those all balanced beautifully with anise infused water and orange zest.

If this recipe failed the bottle suggested it as a hot tea additive. I don’t think that will happen. I’m wondering if I should have frozen so many for later.

Do you like citrus? Have you ever tasted a fruity sauce paired with meat?


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Fun in the Kitchen

A few years ago my husband and I stumbled upon a Youtube personality named Max Miller. A former Disneyland park employee, he decided to leave this position and devote full-time to his passion project. We are so glad he did.

Aptly named “Tasting History”, his channel satisfies my husband’s fixation on food, my rather newfound joy of cooking, and our equal interest in history. Mr. Miller’s Disney experience as an entertainer shines as he prepares recipes from humankind’s past and delves into historical findings before tasting his resulting creation on camera.

I don’t try a fraction of the recipes and some that I did totally flopped. But today I cooked Pan de Muerte. The small bread loaves are still cooling as I type. Fingers crossed, they’ll taste good.

Finding orange blossom water proved a challenge. Since this 1930’s era recipe is Mexican, one of countless variations, we visited a local Latino grocery store. The helpful staff was kind, but clueless. Fortunately we have an international market not far away and a quick search informed me that Jungle Jim’s stocks what turned out to be a Middle Eastern product.

My husband was impressed I found it. He shouldn’t have been surprised, knowing full well my stubborn streak.

Isn’t it fascinating how human cuisine adapts to imported tastes? Why can’t all people mesh half as well?


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Kintsugi: The Centuries-Old Art of Repairing Broken Pottery with Gold

Dear Ellen made an intelligent guess on the meaning of wabi-sabi that caused me to look up the term titled above. Wabi-sabi is an appreciation of natural beauty’s impermanence as sweet Sandee mentioned in her comment.

The esthetics are almost identical as this article states. As well as learning about the history, I saw some beautiful modern examples plus discovered a link to DIY kits. I’m even considering buying one since I have broken so many things over the decades.

~rolls eyes~

I sincerely wish I’d not discarded either of my two champagne glasses broken at different times. ~sigh~ Bought in Austria when my high school choir toured the region, they served at our wedding almost a decade later.

But I digress. Kintsukuroi is an alternative name for kintsugi, which translates as “golden journey”. That alone made this brief research a joy.

Alas, my favorite fictional band broke up...

Can you believe I just paid around $36 (USD) without knowing how I’ll use it? Or should I try redoing this repaired mug?


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Another Walk in the Park

My smart phone has become a true boon. Following an errand I sought a new park to explore and the map application led me to Bull’s Run Nature Park and Arboretum.

One of my first views along the path...
However mysterious its name, this sanctuary displays how Middletown shelters Ohio’s enduring beauty amid much drab, industrial, middling poverty. The space looked glorious on a sunny autumn day.

It amazes me that some bamboo species thrive here...

A deer sighting would have been nice. Birds and squirrels scavenging amid fallen leaves made up for the lack of larger mammals.

I cannot recall what tree grows these pods,
each one long as my hand...

The unseen geese and/or ducks delighted me. I don’t know if they are wild or contained. Please excuse my breathless wheezing.
Neighboring houses my prior post featured have me wishing to return and walk around taking more photos.  Not many Middletownians (?) are so fortunate. I hope nobody there would mind.

I find some beauty in natural decay
(Just not my own... LOL)

Would someone photographing your home disturb you? Are you familiar with the Japanese esthetic of wabi-sabi?

Monday, November 13, 2023

Home Sweet Home - A Lovely Find


My lame attempt at an artsy angle...

I really like this neighborhood...


More to come... I hope you enjoyed these images.


Friday, November 10, 2023


Today I found a letter from Hill-Air, from whom I received a $300 grocery store gift card following our spring furnace service. After the scheduled fall maintenance I again left glowing reviews and my anticipation grew. Alas, as my title states, I didn’t win the big prize.

However, I didn’t think there was more than one prize offered, so I won’t complain. After all, ten dollars is real money. The same grocery chain (Kroger) offers a 10% discount to military veterans tomorrow and my husband served in the Air Force.

Can you guess where we’re going tomorrow morning? Do you search weekly ad deals and clip coupons?


Monday, November 6, 2023

Fake Snake in the Grass, Another Bug, Not a Bug, & In the Doghouse After Checking on Our Friend

I went through a regretful phase in the nineties decorating my house Southwest US style. ~groan~ Most of it’s in storage but this clay rattlesnake, now relegated to summertime outdoors, was a flea market purchase. It once scared a grown man doing work in our basement.

As freezing weather approaches I’m bringing such breakable items into the garage. This fellow spent summer near the mailbox and when I moved it, I discovered a tagalong wooly bear underneath.

Why is an inchworm called any sort of bear?

After visiting our friend Phoenix, who is yet again in hospital, I saw this interesting berry laden plant. I found it quite beautiful.

I thought the pink berries were flowers at first glance...
Unfortunately, our friend got released from the rehabilitation facility on Sunday and then fell going into his home. Even three strapping nephews couldn’t keep him upright. He landed on the amputation site which has developed a hematoma. We can only hope he need not risk further surgery; time over the next day or two will tell. I tried insisting he stay with us for a while but he’s stubborn and independent.

As for being in trouble, I scraped a sharp curb on the way to see Phoenix. While I’m glad the tires weren’t destroyed my husband is angry about cosmetic damage. As I type toward twilight outside he hasn’t spoken to me since we left the hospital.

And while I’ve joked about losing a cat being the most egregious divorceable offense, Terra snuck outside while I started setting up my laptop. I’m so thankful she let me pick her up.

Why do you think “being in the doghouse” is an idiom for angering someone? Wouldn’t cuddling in a warm space with a family pet be preferable to getting the cold shoulder? And isn’t that another odd idiom?