Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

The photograph atop this entry was taken by yours truly. It is featured in one of my very first entries here on Blogger. The picture was taken on a Thanksgiving day in the 1990's. This photo is featured in Photo-Glaz Magazine, as a result of a competition juried by Roy DeCarava.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

John F. Kennedy 5/29/1917-11/22/1963

John F. Kennedy was assassinated fifty-four years ago on this day of November 22nd 1963. I have written about President Kennedy in prior posts here on Blogger, dear reader, and you may reference them by clicking here.

The essay atop this post was published eight days after Kennedy's death in The New York Times. It was written by E.B. White and I've included it in a few entries here on Blogger. I've also written a number of blog posts which reference E.B. White, please click here if you'd like to read them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Instead of talking turkey, I'm talking tulips! (Tuesday's Truth for WK 69)

Welcome to week sixty-nine of my Tuesday's Truths series. It's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so I should probably talk turkey, but since I don't eat it and know very little about it, I will talk tulips for this "episode" of Tuesday's Truths.

This past Friday, Juan V came by to help me plant tulip bulbs. One of the varieties that we planted is known as the Elegant Lady; and her bulbs can be seen in the pictures atop this entry.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday's Memo: "GOURD-JUS" Gourds! Creating Awesome Thanksgiving Decor

The photograph atop-this entry features a carton of awesome looking gourds that I procured from Pamela Torres of Prospect Hill Orchards a few weeks ago (November 2, 2017). She delivered them to the building where I live (transporting them on a dolly) from the greenmarket at Tucker Square (located on the UWS in NYC), where her farm has a stand on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's only the Sunday before Thanksgiving 2017! (Not SOO Fast With Holiday Decor)

It's the Sunday before Thanksgiving and leave it to the Candy Corn Fraternal Twins to put things in perspective re holiday decor! They can be seen having a convo with the Peppermint People in the image atop this entry. The corn twins are folks that you might recognize as they have appeared in a number of posts here on Blogger. The most recent one being my entry for October 30, 2017, which was National Candy Corn Day.

In any event the candy corn twins were a bit miffed that the Peppermint People (the candy of Christmas) showed up to my home with the intent of being the focus of my decor for the Christmas holidays when Thanksgiving had not even arrived!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Honoring Mickey Mouse ETC

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to my blog post for November the eighteenth. I've been unable to post for a couple of days, because it is the second time this month that there was a power outage in my hood, and I had no Internet access. Hopefully this time everything has been fixed by Verizon. In any event, I'm back on Blogger in time to give a shout out to Mickey Mouse, as today is the anniversary of the first appearance of this well known cartoon character.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday's Tale: "It's coming on Christmas. They're cutting down trees..."

"It's coming on Christmas They're cutting down trees...," is a lyric lines from the popular song River, written  by Joni Mitchell. I thought of her song this past Saturday, when the Rockefeller Christmas tree arrived in NYC. The You Tube video posted above features a slice of the event and I have posted more information on Facebook.

It seems a shame  to sacrifice such a health tree for this purpose. One small consolation: once the entire 2017-2018 Christmas holiday season has passed, and the tree is taken down, Habitat for Humanity will build houses from lumber derived from this Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Here's One Way to Re-Use Plastic Bags (Wednesday's Wisdom)

No words needed for this week's WW (Wednesday's Wisdom), the photograph (seen directly above), which was taken at a dog run on NYC's UWS is one of those pictures that's worth a thousand words.

I've posted it here today, November the 15th, because it is — according to Holiday Insights— has been designated to be America Recycles Day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Here's Tuesday's Truth for Week Sixty-Eight Facts re Benjamin Franklin and Turkeys

Hello and welcome to the sixth-eighth week of my Tuesday's Truths series, which is being posted on the Tuesday of  the week before Thanksgiving, a day when many Americans, unlike yours truly, who is a vegetarian (ninety-five percent of the time), will eat turkey. I happen to find it foul to eat fowl, and cannot eat turkey, but I can talk turkey about the myth that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of The United States instead of the bald eagle being our avian rep.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunday's Sentiments for 11-12-2017

It's a few minutes after midnight Eastern Standard Time and I am just now composing my entry for Sunday, November the 12th 2017, as it is my first opportunity to write a blog post for that day.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day 2017

Today is the solemn holiday known as Veterans Day and in bygone years, I've written about it in posts here on Blogger, including an entry where I featured a quotation by Jose Narosky, who was known to have said, "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." 

There is not much I can add to this profound quote from Mr. Narosky, dear reader, so I'll leave to stand on its own on this Veterans Day 2017.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Follow Up on 11-3-2017's Post

In my entry last Friday here on Blogger, I announced that "a hard-cover version of the book I wrote with Cam, "Words In Our Beak Volume One (WIOB_V1)" will soon be available in bookstores, speciality shops, and on line." A photograph of this particular version of  book is posted atop this posting. The picture was taken by Chris Deatherage, who formatted the book. Today, I'm pleased to announce that the book is now available on Amazon Prime. Moreover, it is also available for book sellers through Ingram Content. The ISBN number is 9780996378529

Additionally a press release has been completed and it will be going out over the next few days. A copy of the ad attached to the press release can be seen directly below.

This image was also taken by Deatherage. If you would like to receive up dates, please sign up on my mailing list and also stay tuned here on Blogger.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Identifying With a Pup

Normally I publish a blog post much earlier in the day than I'm doing now, but there was a Verizon power outage in my area and the Internet was completely down. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but I work from home and am in a very precarious situation, which made the circumstances more frustrating! Therefore, I'm identifying with the pup in the comic strip (by Patrick McDonnell) posted above this blog post. Please tune in again tomorrow, I STILL have some barking to do!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

In Honor of Dunce Day + Wednesday's Wisdom, The Meaning of The "Dunce Cap"!

The You Tube posted above this blog post is honor of Dunce Day, which according to a web-page on Holiday Insights, is always celebrated on November 8th, and that is today's date. I'm posting it on my WW (Wednesday's Wisdom) because you never know when this topic may come up in conversation, and now you'll be prepared to discuss it — if need be, dear reader.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NYC's Marathon is still for the birds! (According to Cam)

Today The New York City Marathon is taking place, and Cam, the cardinal pictured here, still thinks it's for the birds! In this photo she can be see running across a table that is in my urban garden.

The image is featured in all three formats of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One

Saturday, November 4, 2017

NYC Marathon Fireworks (ETC) 2017

Last evening was the Friday before the New York City Marathon, scheduled to take place on Sunday, November the 6th (which is tomorrow). And, as is the tradition, there was a phenomenal display of fireworks in Central Park taking place there.

Friday, November 3, 2017

WIOB_V1 is Coming to a Bookstore Near You! (Friday's Follow-Up)

If you have read my blog post for yesterday and the one for the day before that, then you may know a hard-cover version of the book I wrote with Cam, Words In Our Beak Volume One (WIOB_V1) will soon be available in bookstores, speciality shops, and on line. An image of this book's cover can be seen atop this entry. The photo was taken by Michael  Murphy.

I've kind of gone backwards in this process of helping Cam (the "covergirl" on the book) write and publish her book. I say this because WIOB V1 started as a digital book in Apple's iTunes Store.

However, because there are over three hundred pictures in the book (taken by me), I was advised to convert it into a non-digital book, which I have done, and it has been available as a soft-cover book on MagCloud since this past March. Now, bookstores and speciality shops have expressed interest in carrying my book, but these places of business want to work with a publisher who offers distribution services, which MagCloud does not have at this point.

That's why I have created the hard-cover format that's seen in the image above. The book has been published through Lighting Source, a division of Ingram Spark. Last evening I had a meeting with Chris Deatherage, who formatted the soft and hard cover versions. We still have to work out a few details involving price points which I will hopefully be able to do today, or tomorrow as doing so, would enable me to have book available for distribution late next week.

Moreover, tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month in the month of November, which means it's one of the holidays for National Book Lover's Day. It would be great for Cam and I to celebrate it by completing these pricing issues and making the book available for distribution.

Meanwhile, I'm saying that I've kind of gone backwards, because normally authors start out with a hard-cover book, then subsequently publish soft-cover and/or digital versions. But who knew I'd take this route. In any event, Cam and I have finished volume two, but it needs to be formatted (by Deatherage, who has our files) and this time she and I will have that volume begin as a hard cover.

Please stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Identifying With E.B. White (Again)

Anyone who follows my musings here on Blogger must know how much I appreciate the works written by E.B. White, who wrote numerous essays for The New Yorker.

I've included copies, and/or excerpts from many of them in my cyber venues. White's also known for the many books he's written, including Charlotte's Web, which is one of my favorites. I have referred to this book a number of times within my blog entries. In fact, the picture atop this posting was included within one of my 2010 Blogger posts where I referenced an excerpt from a collection of White's essays, as well as an excerpt from Charlotte's Web.

If you know Charlotte's Web, you may recall that when one of the characters, John Arable (who is a farmer), discovers a new piglet is a runt, he decides to kill it. His eight year old daughter, Fern, persuades her father to let her keep the piglet as a pet and she names him Wilbur. Fern takes care of Wilbur for a while until he needs to be moved to a farm where he becomes very lonely. He soon is befriended by a spider named Charlotte, who not only keeps him company but also provides him with encouragement weaving the words "SOME PIG," "TERRIFIC," and "RADIANT" into her web.

Words are missing from the spider's web seen in the image atop this entry, and even though there is a bee within this spider's web in this picture, Cam and I could use some words of encouragement.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

There are some YES-ES in November! (Wednesday's Wisdom Replying to Hood)

Earlier today, here on Blogger, as a way of ringing in 2017's month of November, I posted a poem about the eleventh month of the year. It is written by the poet/humorist, Thomas Hood.

However, I hope Hood's poem is wrong about this year's month of November, as I'm certainly in need of a few yes-es; and so is Cam, my female cardinal. She can seen in the picture directly above, where she is posing in my urban garden.

As you may know, Cam, like yours truly is a writer, and I've helped her write and publish the book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One (WIOB V_1). Up until now, the book has only been available in digital as well as softcover format. But yesterday, which was Halloween, a treat was delivered to my home: the hardcover version of WIOB V_1, and is featured in the image directly below.

The book was sent to me for the purpose of my approval to have it marked available for retail distribution. Before WIOB V_1 can go into bookstores, as well as speciality shops, or be made available on-line, I will need to review everything with Chris Deatherage, our book's formatter.


No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--

No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

In honor of the onset of yet another November, as I have done in bygone years, I'm sharing the poem that's atop today's blog entry. It is by Thomas Hood. I've written about Hood a few times here on Blogger. If you'd like to reference my posts re him, please click here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tuesday's Truths Week 66: It's Halloween! (Please note all decor is not for the birds.)

Cam, the cardinal featured in the photograph above, where  she can be seen noshing on one of her favorite treats as she spends time in my urban garden, joins me in welcoming you to the sixty-sixth week of my Tuesday's Truths series. Today happens to be Halloween and she has urged me to write a post about the decor one might choose outside their home, although at this point you may have decked your halls for this occasion.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Time to Celebrate National Candy Corn Day (But Keep Honoring Black Cats Too)!

A few days ago, in honor of Black Cat Awareness Month, which is October, Patrick McDonnell, the creator of Mutts, posted the image seen atop this entry on the Facebook Page for that comic strip.

But it seems that black cats steal more than hearts, it appears they steal candy corn too, as evidenced in the next image.

And who could blame a black cat for wanting a piece of candy corn, a sweet treat that has it's own holiday, known as National Corn Day, which is today.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday's Sentiments for 10-29-2017

Yesterday, Saturday, October 28th, marked the one hundred and twenty-first anniversary of the dedication of The Statue of Liberty. According to a Wikipedia page, the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. She can be standing in NYC's harbor (from the vantage point of Red Hook in Brooklyn), in the first image atop this entry. The second image features a driftwood sculpture of her.

That particular image (which was was included in an entry here on Blogger this past June), was taken by yours truly when I made a trip to Long Beach (on Long Island in NY) with my sister a number of years ago.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

In Honor of Saint Jude

I don't want this day of October twenty-eighth to pass without paying homage to Saint Jude. His feast day is today. I've written about him in prior posts here on Blogger. I have a small statue of him on a shelf above my desk, which can be seen in the photograph atop this entry. His statue is the second one from the left. (I've also included this image in a number of my posts here on Blogger.)

A statue of Saint Francis is to the right of the one of Saint Jude, and a statue of Saint Joseph is to his  immediate left, followed by one of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a crucifix. Behind the crucifix stands Saint Anthony and to is left is a statue of Saint Lucy. At times I've called upon them to participate in a group meeting re my intentions. I hope they will all continue to be an inspiration to me and to help me in prayer.

Plush Animal Lover's Day 2017

Today is Plush Animal Lover's Day, and the image atop this entry of a plush animal rendered in the likeness of a male cardinal, is my way of paying honoring this holiday, but please don't tell Cam I'm doing this!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Frankenstein Friday for 2017

Earlier today I posted an entry re a Praying Mantis, who visited my urban garden, Now, before this day comes to a close and in all fairness to the figurine (pictured above) who likes to dress up as Frankenstein during the Halloween season, I need to remind readers that today is the last Friday for the month of October, which means it's Frankenstein Friday. It's a holiday that I referenced in yesterday's blog post.

Frankenstein Friday celebrates the birth of Frankenstein and it is a holiday that I've written about in prior posts here on Blogger. He was born in 1818 when Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley, at the age of 21, wrote the story Frankenstein. I've also written about Shelley in prior entries here on Blogger. In both instances, this image of little guy dressed as Frankenstein for Halloween was featured in my posting.

I don't really like to repeat content, but in this instance, I'm doing it for the beloved character that Mary Shelley created. Therefore, I'm reiterating what I've stated in the past: Frankenstein Day is celebrated on August 30. That particular day is in honor of author Mary Wollenstone Shelley who was born on August 30th in 1797. She wrote the book Frankenstein in 1818. But as I said in my introduction, Frankenstein Friday celebrates the birth of Frankenstein.

A Lone Praying Mantis Visits My Garden!

The praying mantis seen in the images atop this blog entry, where he/she is moving gracefully — but with a sense of purpose — across the table that's in my urban garden, were taken by Juan V when he came to my place yesterday.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween... (at least that's the case in my armoire)

Once again, it's beginning to look a lot like Halloween in my armoire. My costume clad figurines have returned in honor of Halloween 2017. These whimsical characters can be seen in the first image atop this blog entry, where they are participating in a dress rehearsal for yet another vow renewal ceremony, for which guests have been told to wear their Halloween costumes. I say "yet another," because last year there was a different vow renewal ceremony that occurred here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hamil Miller's Essay (10/25/1970)

I've already posted an entry for today as part of my WW (Wednesday's Wisdom) series, however, I didn't want the day to pass without sharing a memory of Hamil Miller. Miller authored the essay posted atop this entry in jpeg format, but also below, as jpeg's are hard to read.

Wednesday's Wisdom: "The Ground Effect" (Enables seagulls to glide low to the ground.)

It's been eightenteen days since I made my first beach trip for the 2017 year, and I am still in awe of what I witnessed re the seagulls who I encountered there (Long Beach on Long Island in NY).

In addition to learning of the differences between Herring Gulls and Ring-billed gulls, as well as seeing seagulls bathing in the Atlantic, I was reminded of just how low seagulls flew; as evidenced in the photographs atop this entry.

During my visits to both Long Beach and the beach at Robert Moses State Park in bygone years, I  had witnessed seagulls flying very low. At that time I researched what might be causing them to do this, and I learned that "there is in aerodynamics, a phenomenon called 'Ground Effect.' (The effect of added aerodynamic buoyancy produced by a cushion of air below a vehicle moving close to the ground.) It is where the air under a wing is being squeezed between the wing and the ground. The height of the ground effect depends on the size of the wing. So seagulls glide close to the surface because it is easier to glide there. Pelicans use ground effect, as do other sea birds."

I discussed these findings in a 2013 posting here on Blogger which you may reference by clicking here.

Meanwhile, more pictures of the low flying gulls, who I saw on October 7, 2017 can be found directly below.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This is Week Sixty-Five for Tuesday's Truths: Time spent with anyone is fleeting. (Remembering Donna De Solis)

It's the sixth-fifth week of my Tuesday's Truths series. This week's truth is a reminder that time spent with anyone is fleeting and the post is dedicated to the late Donna De Solis (DD). Her birthday would be today, October 24th, had she not passed away in June of 2015.

The little slide show atop this entry was produced a couple of years ago. It features an array of birds who are spending time together. In the first slide you see Cam, my visiting female cardinal (who is a writer) with her son, Vincenzo. Each photograph in the presentation has been included in Cam's book,  Words In Our Beak Volume One.

In her story, Cam states that "though it’s true that we cardinals feed our young, sometimes I try to give my children a bit of tough love because I want them to have the confidence to be on their own. But I confess that I’m known to give into their begging tactics. While I want my children to be independent, occasionally I do give in when they beg, because time spent with a child is fleeting. I once overheard a conversation between two folks when people-ing, and it is this overheard line which expresses my beliefs: 'I gave into my toddler’s wishes, as I figured it wouldn’t be long before he’d be asking for the car keys . . . time flies,' a woman stated. And as one who flies, I couldn’t agree more. I value my time with Vincenzo, but I still force myself to push him to fend for his own seeds, even though I know that once he’s successful at his endeavor, as he seems to be here, he will leave Mac and I to pursue a life of his own." Cam is correct that time spent with a child is fleeting, but I'll go one step further and say time sent with anyone is fleeting! 

This mini-movie's background music features the song Christmas Auld Lang Syne, being sung by Bobby Darin. I heard the song and Darin's rendition on an annual basis when I attended DD's Christmas parties, including a Christmas party she held in December of 2014.

The song, when sung by him, was one of her favorites. If you want to sing along, these are the lyrics:

"When mistletoe and tinsel glow
Paint a yuletide valentine
Back home I go to those I know
For a Christmas auld lang syne.
And as we gather 'round the tree
Our voices all combine
In sweet accord to thank the Lord
For a Christmas auld lang syne.
When sleigh bells ring and choirs sing
And the children's faces shine
With each new toy we share their joy
With a Christmas auld lang syne.
We sing His praise this day of days
And pray next year this time
We'll all be near to share the cheer
Of a Christmas auld lang syne.
'Merry Christmas everybody and a Happy New Year!'
In sweet accord we thank the Lord
For a Christmas auld lang syne."

Little did I know that at Donna's Christmas party on December 20, 2014, when her guests and I sang the words, "We sing His praise this day of days, And pray next year this time, We'll all be near to share the cheer, Of a Christmas auld lang syne," that Donna would be dead the following June. Her passing is a reminder of Cam's views on the importance of spending time with one's children, and in my view, also on the importance of spending time with anyone near and dear to you.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Creatures Take Garbo's Cue: Part Two

As you may recall, dear reader, this past September I had the privilege of meeting Jewel, the white Muscovy duck seen in the images atop this entry, where she is in the company of a Mallard duck and  an array of pigeons.

Sunday, October 22, 2017