Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve 2017




This is my fourth entry for December 31, 2017. It's my final post of the year. The new year is under six hours away here in NYC.

As I write this post, over one million people have been standing in Times Square and the surrounding area for a minimum of twelve hours, on this record breaking cold day/night with temperatures below the twenty degree range (and real feel ones in the single digits).

They are waiting for the ball to drop the minute 2018 comes in. During all my years in NYC, I've never been to Times Square to watch the annual New Year's Eve ball drop ceremony.

I confess that I never had a desire to attend this event. On most occasions, I have no inclination to be anywhere near the Times Square location, particularly on New Year's Eve — especially this year when temperatures are in the teens with real feel ones in the single digits and may dip lower than that.

In any event, I recently came across a video (which is posted atop this entry) that features the time Lily Tomlin and Andy Williams hosted the ball drop (it was an apple drop during those years) in the 1984, when they helped ring in 1985. I hope you enjoy this clip, and I wish you and yours, a very blessed, happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. See you in 2018!

Let them eat snow!


It is the last day of 2017, and I really should be shredding documents as well as personal letters that are no longer relevant to me, but for now, I'm composing my third entry for this day. In my previous post for today, I mentioned that "it's only the seventh day of Christmas," which means it is the day when someone's true love gave to them seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Now, in honor of the occasion of someone giving their true love seven swans a swimming, I've posted an image of my swan-themed ornament atop this entry. You  might recognize her as she was featured in a 2016 posting here on Blogger.

However, at this time, I don't think they'll be many swans a swimming in many parts of the USA, as it is very cold in a number of parts of this county, so places they'd be swimming are frozen; and NYC, is hardly an exception!

UPDATE on my "rescue tree."



It's the last day of 2017, and, as I stated in my early morning blog entry, I will be publishing a few postings today. This day marks seven days since I rescued an abandoned Christmas tree (which was in a stand) from the streets of NYC during the morning of Christmas Eve.

I "reported" this news here on Blogger, after I found the abandoned tree. I also published a follow up post about this. However, it was only yesterday, six days after my find, that I realized a "chunk" was missing from the bottom of my "find." This is indicated by the red arrow (right) which is affixed to the two images atop this post. Both pictures feature my tree (standing in my rooftop garden) after the snow "landed" on it yesterday, making the missing branches noticeable.

Peggy Wood (my dearly departed iBook editor) died three years ago today.


On this last day of 2017, I will be publishing a few posts since the year is drawing to a close. First of all, Peggy Wood, my good friend (whom I've referenced several times here on Blogger) is on my mind more than ever, as she died three years ago today. She can be seen in the photo-collage atop this entry (taken in May of 2014) about to make her eighty-ninth birthday wish, which wound up being her last. Her brother, Robert, is also featured in the image.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

THE SIXTH DAY of CHRISTMAS 2017



Today is Saturday, December the 30th, and it is the Sixth Day of Christmas. This is the day when someone's true love gave to them six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. In honor of the occasion, I've posted a video atop this entry (which I discovered on Vimeo). Moreover, in bygone years, I've written about the Sixth Day of Christmas, here on Blogger; and you may refer to my entries by clicking on this for my 2016 post on the event, as well as this for my 2013 entry re this "holiday."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Mourning Doves Appreciate my Winterizing




For over nearly ten years I've winterized (with the help of Juan V), my rooftop garden by wrapping the containers (which house my plants, shrubs, trees, and vines) in bubble wrap; to which we add a layer of burlap and then tie everything together with jute. I've documented my endeavors in a number of posts here on Blogger.

These efforts are also included within two of my garden-themed movies: It’s a Wrap! Bubble Wrap! and The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame.. almost (which are on my Vimeo channel.)

My winterizing methods have helped to protect my flora over the years. They have also helped preserve my containers. Moreover, a number of birds which visit my urban garden have taken advantage of the burlap, as evidenced in the image atop this entry, featuring mourning doves alighting on, as well as perching within my winterized container.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

NYC dwellers need Oliver Herford's optimism today! (It's only 19°F)!


It has been bitter cold the past few days here in NYC, so when I heard a Northern mockingbird singing in my rooftop garden, while he/she alighted upon my Avellana corylus, AKA Contorted Hazelnut (as seen in the picture atop this entry), I thought of the poem, I Heard a Bird Sing, by Oliver Herford.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My rescue tree was fit to be tied (sort of). Wednesday's Wisdom


Yesterday was Boxing Day and a woman who lives in the building directly across the courtyard from me came over to my place with her friend who has traveled to NYC for the Christmas holidays. They helped me string lights on the Christmas tree which I have in my rooftop garden. (This tree is a rescue as I mentioned in a recent entry here on Blogger.)

The results of their welcome labor can be seen in the photo atop this entry. I've affixed a red arrow (left) to the image to indicate a plug (right) that leads to a power source which will accommodate the lights on my tree topper. I hope to put it up in the coming days, but first I need to find a way to secure it to the tree because it gets very windy in my garden.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Second Day Of Christmas + More (Tuesday's Truths WK 68)


Today marks my sixty-eighth post for my Tuesday's Truths series which is coinciding with the second day of Christmas when someone's true love gave to them "two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree." 

Today is also the eighty-first year anniversary of  E.B. White's essay, WOOLWORTH MADONNA, being published in The New Yorker. I've posted a copy of it atop this entry.

Additionally, it is a day when many folks will celebrate Boxing Day.  A number of web-pages that discuss this holiday can be found on the Internet. However, one of my favorites can be found on thespruce.com by clicking here.

It's also the day after 2017's Christmas, which was a very windy and cold one in NYC.

Monday, December 25, 2017

My rescue tree rescued me.


Twas the night before the night before Christmas; and I found myself disappointed about having no tree. For the past several years, I've had one in my rooftop garden and in a number of cyber venues, (including posts here on Blogger), I have discussed how I've decorated it with white lights as well as  bird feeders.

I think my not having a tree when it was the night before the night before Christmas would have come as a surprise to Juan V, because the last time that he was here to help me do our winterizing ritual in my garden, he firmly predicted that I would get one. He even left a space for a Christmas tree with an easy to access a power cord to use for any lights that I might hang on it. All of this can be seen in the image atop this entry.

The thought of having no Christmas tree for the array of wild birds who visit here and who have used my various Christmas trees to keep warm over the years made me sad. And I dare say that members of the avian community have come to count on it.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

It's the day of Festivus!



Today is the holiday known as Festivus. According to Holiday Insights this day "came to recognition as the direct result of a Jerry Seinfeld television show episode. It first aired on December 18, 1997."

I haven't had a television since the 1970's, so I've only seen Seinfeld a handful of times when visiting friends, and I do remember Festivus being introduced on an episode of that show. It can be seen in the You Tube Video atop today's blog entry. Additionally, in bygone years, I've written about Festivus, here on Blogger, which you may reference my entries on the subject by clicking here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

My Tales of Hoffman


According to a number of tweets (where I saw the image atop this entry), The Graduate, premiered fifty years ago today on December 22, 1967, which happened to be a Friday, as it is now.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice in Riverside Park 2017


At an entrance to Riverside Park located at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive in NYC, there is a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt, which I've featured in prior entries here on Blogger.* I passed it again today as I made my way down to the Hudson River to watch this evening's winter solstice sunset.

If one enters the park from the statue, a short walk down a sidewalk takes you to a dog run where I happened upon a lone ghost holding a Jack-O-Lantern (as seen in the image directly below).


I came to the conclusion that this ghost had not gotten the memo that Halloween was over, or, that he/she may be the ghost of Christmas past, awaiting the holiday, which is (as of this posting) now only four days away. But whatever this ghost's circumstances were, I may never know, for I did not stop to ask him/her.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree, how lovely are your needles! Wednesday's Wisdom: It's time (for Spike) to get out the ladder!


Since 2017's Christmas is now only five days away (as of this posting), I'm disappointed to say that it looks as if I will definitely not be able to put up a Christmas tree for the array of wild birds who visit my rooftop garden. At least I will not have to ask a tree to bend down so that I can put a star on top of it, which Spike (aka Snoopy) is having to do, as evidenced in the comic strip posted atop this entry.

However, I'm truly disappointed that medical circumstances have wiped me out for now; and getting a Christmas tree, as well as many other things (including many of them being essential necessities) is impossible at this time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday's Truths WK 67: I'm about to be a part of Fine Art America!


Hello, and welcome to week sixty-seven of my Tuesday's Truths series. As I compose this blog entry, I am waiting for a phone call from Fine Art America's tech support. They are an organization who encourages their consumers/clients/customers to decorate their home/office and accessorize their life "with incredible works of art, and help support living artists all over the world."

I learned about them through the woman who restored the bouncer-chair (which I've had since 2012) seen in the image atop this blog entry.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday's Musings: "NYC is the place to be if your'e a bird."


Yesterday, Sunday December the seventeenth, was a mostly overcast day in NYC. The temperatures remained in the thirty degree range, so I layered up before heading down to Pier Eleven (near to the Greenway by the Hudson River) to follow the wisdom of the Negro spiritual and "lay down my troubles down by the riverside."

There is nothing like a walk in the park to clear one's head and Riverside Park is one of the best places to do that in Manhattan. As I made my way across the pier, I came upon a lone Ring-billed seagull (seen in the image atop this entry) who also knew about this respite on the UWS.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cardinals and the celebration of Christmas


In eight days time it will be Christmas day. During this holiday, the likeness of male Northern cardinals are often seen in images on an array of items such as greeting cards, serving dishes, gift wrap, napkins, guest towels, kitchen towels, potholders, — the list seems endless.

Moreover, this bird type's likeness has been rendered into holiday brooches, Christmas tree ornaments and figurines. An example of the latter is featured in the image atop this entry.

I have read many articles and social media posts on the connection between the Northern cardinal and the Christmas holiday, including a blog entry by Karen Harvey Cox that states (re the coloring of a male Northern cardinal), the "bright red to remind us of Christ during the dreary gray days of winter ahead."

In her post, Cox also includes a quotation that proclaims:"Christened the Christmas bird for its spectacular red color, the cardinal has become a symbol of the beauty and warmth of the holiday season. A glimpse of this brilliant bird brings cheer, hope and inspiration on a gray, wintry day. As nature's reminder for us to focus on our faith, the cardinal's scarlet plumage represents the blood of Christ shed for the redemption of mankind."

The description is similar to what many writers state about the male Northern cardinal's association with Christmas, but I find it limiting. This is because thoughts like this only apply to those who live in parts of the world where Christmas occurs during a dreary winter season. In a number of places, Christmas is occurring during summer time, where folks might not be dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card they write.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

It wasn't Saturday in the Park, and it wasn't the 4th of July; it was Thursday, the 13th of December, and baby, it was COLD outside!


This past Thursday was bitter cold here in NYC, but I still took a brisk walk in nearby Central Park, where the lake was completely frozen, as evidenced in the photograph atop this entry. I also noticed a lone blue jay who was not letting the bitter day stop him/her from having a picnic in the tree tops while doing some people-ing (this is featured in the next set of pictures).






Additionally a squirrel paid no attention to the frigid temperatures. He/she seemed to also enjoy doing a bit of peopleing from his/her nose-bleed seat high up in the tree tops.

Friday, December 15, 2017

THE COST OF HYPENS in 1928 + 2017


My appreciation for the writings of E.B. White is no secret to anyone who reads this blog. The essay posted atop this entry is one of my favorites. It was published eighty-nine years ago today; and times they sure are a changing, for today if "a writer at work" inserted "a little mark," it would not cost him half a dollar, but it might cost him his tweet if the hyphen made it too many characters.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I'm having a BLUE Pre-Christmas Season.


For the past five years I've had a Christmas tree in my rooftop garden. I've always decorated my Christmas tree with lights and have hung ornaments that are bird feeders filled with suet which I replenish on a frequent basis.

My standard has been to put up a Christmas tree anytime between December twelfth and December seventeenth, then leave it standing until mid February. This way the array of wild birds who visit my garden will have a place to keep warm during the coldest winter months as they nosh. The Christmas tree seen in the picture atop this entry is the one I had last year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What It Could Mean When You See a Cardinal (Wednesday's Wisdom)



The first photograph atop today's blog entry features a male cardinal that I came upon when I took a walk in nearby Central Park the other day. This image may look to familiar to those of you who follow the Facebook Page for The Last Leaf Gardener, as I featured this picture (along with other shots of the male cardinal) in Monday's FB entry. In the aforementioned post, I also included a poem by Mary Oliver with an interesting meditation (written by LoraKim Joyner), and if you'd like to refer to that entry, please click here.

Meanwhile, the second picture atop this entry features a female cardinal that I also saw on that same day. She is featured in Tuesday's FB entry, which you may refer to by clicking here.

In any event, yesterday I had planned to return to Central Park in the hopes of seeing cardinals again, but the weather conditions were not good for a camera.

However, as fate would have it, I didn't have to go to the park to see this bird type, because both the male and female cardinal paid a visit to my rooftop garden.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday's Truths for Week No. Sixty-Six Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated today. Chanukah 2017 begins this evening.


Here are Tuesday's Truths for week sixty-six. Today, December the twelfth, is the annual feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her statue can be seen in the image directly above (it's the fourth one from the left).

This evening of December the 12th, marks the first night of Chanukah for 2017. I've posted the video directly below in their honor of the occasion.


Monday, December 11, 2017

My Monday Musings



Yesterday I went for a walk in Central Park with my next store neighbor. We sat on a bench that had a good view of The Bow Bridge, as well as of the lake, and noticed that groups of ducks were swimming in circles.

When I came home I googled "ducks-swimming-in-circles behavior" and discovered the You Tube video that is posted atop this entry. What can be seen in it, is exactly what I saw the ducks doing in Central Park.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Oh, Avellana corylus! Oh, Avellana corylus! How lovely are your branches!


Seeing the leaves of my Avellana corylus AKA Contorted Hazelnut (a shrub which grows in my rooftop garden) all covered with snow (as evidenced in the photo atop this entry) and clinging to their branches, caused me to think of the song, On Top of Spaghetti, which is associated with a nursery rhyme.

But, fortunately, unlike the doomed meatball in that nursery rhyme, I didn't lose any my shrub's leaves that were covered in snow, because NOBODY sneezed!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Christmas Card Day!


I recently came across the Peanuts comic strip (posted above) in my TLLG FB newsfeed. Evidently it was originally published on December 2, 1972. Since today, December 9th is Christmas Card Day, I think it's a good time to share Woodstock's wisdom, as well as Snoopy's skepticism with his lesson learned.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Follow-Up Friday: Remembering John Lennon (October 9th 1940-December 8th 1980)


If John Lennon had not been shot and killed on this day in 1980, he would be seventy-seven years old. When Lennon lived in NYC, he and his wife frequented a number of places on the UWS, including Cafe´La Fortuna, whose storefront can be seen in the image top this post. I lived above Cafe´La Fortuna, on the top floor in an apartment where the toilet was in my clothes closet (as seen in the photo below).


This image was featured within one of my very first entries here on Blogger back in 2010. In any event, the studio that I lived in above Cafe´La Fortuna, had no window, except for a small skylight that did not completely open.

I was very fortunate to move to a place where the toilet is in the bathroom and where I have three windows, one of those being a window on the backdoor that leads to my rooftop garden.

The following image features one of my last aerial views of it. which was taken this past October by Juan V and featured in an entry here on Blogger at that time.


But getting back to John Lennon, I have featured him within a few posts on Blogger in bygone years, and in honor of this anniversary of his death, I invite you to read them by clicking here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday's Tale: My Wednesday in the Park (with Lola, Parker, and Elliot)



Lola, the dog featured in the images atop this entry is someone you might recognize, dear reader, if you follow one of my PY Facebook Page. I featured pictures of her in an entry which I posted this past July.

I've seen her on a number of occasions since that time, and yesterday, I was honored to  be invited to spend part of my afternoon with her, as well as her good friend, Parker.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

WW*: "The Enviable NYC Garbagemen" (*Wednesday's Wisdom)


The essay posted atop this entry was published on this day of December 6th in 1930. Anyone who lives in NYC, will surely appreciate E.B. White's wisdom re our garbagemen.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Here's Tuesday's Truth for Week Seventy-One! "Dreary Days and Mondays..."


As of now, Verizon has fixed the Internet snafus that have been occurring, so, I'm back to my posting here on Blogger, and I'm just in time for week seventy-one of my Tuesday's Truths series.

I come to it with this thought: a well known pop song, Rainy Days and Mondays, which was sung by the late Karen Carpenter is on my mind, because yesterday was a very dreary Monday in NYC.

Part of the lyrics in Carpenter's song state, "... Hangin' around Nothin' to do but frown. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down..."

While it wasn't rainy in NYC yesterday, it certainly was dreary (and still is today), but I couldn't afford to let dreary days and Mondays get me down, or let any day get me down for that matter; and that is this  truth for my seventy-first posting in this series!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

UPDATE re The Phone Company AND Caring! (Ernestine nailed it!)


Folks of a certain age, might remember Lily's Tomlin's role of Ernestine, a character on a television variety show known as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. The image atop this entry features Tomlin portraying Ernestine in one of their episodes.

I included this picture in a prior entry here on Blogger this past September, when I wrote about Emma Nutt, the first female telephone operator.

In any event, on Laugh-In, Tomlin's Ernestine had a reoccurring line which was,"We're the phone company, we don't have to care...," that she reiterated with a snort.

That line has been playing over and over again in my head as I have been dealing with my phone carrier, Verizon, who also is my Internet provider.

This past week, for the third time in one month, my Internet service was down due to "a power outage related to Verizon." 

Because I work from my home and depend on the Internet to meet my goals, this was disruptive.

However, I must admit the phone company was very timely on one matter: my bill arrived on schedule in spite of the fact that my services were still interrupted.

I've only just now begun to get back to the necessary task so of ending out press releases over the web, as well as to the routine of writing posts for my blog.

Provided there are no more snafus, I expect to continue with my daily posts beginning on Tuesday, December 6th 2017, when I post an entry for my Tuesday's Truths series.