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Monday, September 12, 2022

Influenced by NNM's Autumn Clematis!

It has been eight months since my last post here on Blogger and that entry was just to let folks know my web-designer, Chris Deatherage, had made changes to my website

Prior to that posting I had become very sporadic in publishing my blog posts which was out of characer for me. For after years of being very dedicated to regularly offering excellent written content that was accompanied by my photographs and or videos — I even received an award for my endeavors and an image of it can be found on my right sidebar — circumstances, upon circumstances beyond my control, interfered with my being able to produce content for this venue.

Those circumstances were mostly due to new and severe consequences of my battles with Neurofibromatosis (NF) a medical condition I've had since birth, which is discussed in one of my first blog posts as well as in many posts thereafter. (NF is also the subject of my book project, Imperfect Strangers.) A short video introducing the book can be viewed on Vimeo and/or You Tube.



In any event, I won't go into details of my forced hiatus from blogging (at least not within this post) for it was my seeing Nancy Nelson Mancini's photograph of her Sweet Autumn Clematis (a copy of it is posted atop this posting) that brought back bittersweet memories of my own beloved Sweet Autumn Clematis vines that I got in either 2004 or 2005, and ultimately blogged about in 2010 in an entry where I described their back story, (which I encourage you to read it and check out the pictures included in that post). 

Moreover, my Autumn Clematis vines were subsequently featured in my first garden-themed movie, The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame... almost, which can be viewed on Vimeo and/or You Tube.

These vines ultimately survived being in two major garden upheavals (due to a couple of renovations ordered by my landlord) and one of those upheavls is discussed in volume two of my three hardcover book series, Words In Our Beak.

But getting back to NNM's image of her Autumn Clematis and my saying that seeing it evoked bittersweet memories, the reason for this is, as is that now, approximantely eighteen years of having these vines in my garden, they are gone.

I hadn't relized what a loss this has been for me until I saw NNM's image and recalled my memories of having Autumn Clematis vines which never did not well after being hacked by my lanlord in 2021.

He had hacked the Autumn Clematis while standing on the building's rooftop and leaning over it to chop away my vines, this was not a safe action for him to take with my vines or with himself as he could've fallen off the building's rooftop.

Moreover he had assaulted my Beech Tree, ruining her shape. the results of these violent actions are indicated in the red-bordered shapes that I've attached to the image directly above which is included in a post here on Blogger that I published at the time of the incident. It will still take quite sometime for the Beech Tree to regain her shape which she probably will, but the fate of my Autumn Clematis has not been good.

Initally Juan V was able to redirect the vines' path and nudge them to grow on a custom built trellis as seen in the two pictures directly below.


But unfortunately they were begining to pull on the string lights that provide a "canopy" over my garden. I was concerned that the vines, given their strength, could yank down my string lights... 


... (which might cause a fire) and that fact, coupled with the truth that vines can harm brick and mortar, convinced me to have my Autumn Clematis vines (I had two) removed. 

For now in their place, a Clematis tangutica (she is indicated by an arrow affixed to the next photo) has been planted. She is a much less agreesive vine but I feel she looks swallowed up by the big container and it will be quite some time before she eases into it. 

A couple of Amsonia plants have been placed there to keep the new vine company (as also seen in the next picture where a circle has been drawn aeound them)...

... but I don't like the look of their foliage, so I may need to plant something else there.

Not having my Autumn clematis is a big loss, yet I realize that is what happens when one gardens. Over the years, I've learned it's best to appreciate the flora when they are around as I certainly do, by meeting their needs for water and fertilizer, as well as by helping them to tell their stories through  my blog posts, my movies and my books.

However, given my new battle with NF and the limitations this brings, it may be quite a while before I can tell my flora's stories. Plus I need to concentrate on raising awareness about NF which I hope to do through my book project, Imperfect Strangers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Today, 2/02/22, is known as Twos-day! Tuesday's Truths WK 230


Welcome to my two hundred and thirtieth segement of Tuesdy's Truths.  I realize my last  post re this series was published on November 16th 2021, a little over two months ago and that particular post was published soon after I had an accident which resulted in my needing to have a surgical procedure known as Open Reduction/Internal Fixation Surgery.

Upon discharge from that surgery I had to wear a pump for a couple of days...


.... unfortunately something with the pump malfunctioned and I nearly died as a result.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve 2021


Today, in the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning in NYC we probably had the most snow we will get for this year's holiday.

Glad I got a glimpse of how it looked in my garden, which as you may know, is the setting for all my books that have Words In Our Beak in their title.

Friday, December 10, 2021

With Thanks to "B THE DIFFERENCE"...


It has been a number of weeks since I've posted content other than "news" re additions to my collections on FAA (Fine Art America) which is not typical for me.

I truly detest promotion-based blog posts, yet recognize that it is a very necessary part of being a freelance writer and artist.

Having said this, please allow me to bring you up to speed, which I’ve had on my to do list since mid November 2021, as I wanted to let my readers know I've had another life disruption... but thankfully one of the consequences has led to a true blessing bestowed on me by the B THE DIFFERENCE foundation.

B THE DIFFERENCE's logo (seen directly above) is a turtle, which is a creature with whom I've identified (featuring these animals here on Blogger and in my book, I'TS THE LITTLE THINGS).

The foundation, B THE DIFFERENCE is back for the holidays and I am most grateful to be a recipient of their generosity.

So, dear reader, upon reading this, you may be asking, what is B THE DIFFERENCE?

It is an organization which was founded in October 2011 by Stephanie and Jessica Merritt to honor the memory of their brother, Brandon, and they have shared the fact that Brandon was 8 months old he was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF), a disease targeting the nervous system by developing tumors on nerve endings. 

As readers of this blog undoubtedly know, NF, is a disease that I was born with (which is discussed in one of my first blog posts as well as in many posts thereafter); and my having it, has impacted my life on many levels, some of which is described in my book project Imperfect Strangers.


It can be viewed on Vimeo and/or You Tube.

Evidently Brandon never asked "Why me?" when NF compromised his ability to play sports and interact with children his age—if anything (according to his family), Brandon's physical disabilities allowed his personality to become incredibly nurturing and sensitive.

I must confess that there were times I did allow NF to restrict me, perhaps that's because I grew up in a different era, or maybe I'm just a complainer at heart.

BUT I digress...from my "explanation" re my uncharacteristic absence here on Blogger:

The following photos of me were taken at an Emergency Room in NYC (Mount Sinai, 59th Street) on Saturday, November 13th, 2021.


At the urging of CITY MD, I had gone to the emergency room on that day because I had fallen the evening prior and my symptoms were worsening. 

Here is the situation:

As I said, I had an accident on Friday, November 12th, and sustained an injury.

Turns out I had a  proximal humeral fracture, that, as you may know refers to a break involving the area surrounding the humeral head, which is commonly known as the ball of the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint. 

Brittle bones are a symptom of Neurofibromatosis and I've broken many bones in my lifetime, including the first month of 2020 when I broke my Greater tuberosity! So it was not all that surprising for me to learn the extent of my recent injury to my arm!

In any event, the following day, after a brief visit to CITY MD, I received advice to go to the emergency room where I spent 4-5 hours undergoing X-rays which determined the type of injury I now have. 

The upshot is I saw an orthopedist that following Monday who is associated with Mount Sinai hospital and he confirmed the severity of my fracture and the need for me to have Open Reduction Internal Fixation Surgery (ORIF)

BUT this surgery could not be done until 11-22-2021 as I needed to go to appointments for medical and COVID clearances which I did and I’ve now had that procedure!


One of the after surgery “needs” that the doctor and anesthesiologist recommended for me was to wear a pump for a period of five-six days to release opioids in increment in a safe manner, but ultimately my pump (unbeknowest to me) was cutting off my oxygen leaving me nearly unable to speak and cutting off air circulation.

The pump was originally set to be removed permanently on Thanksgiving morning and I had made arrangements for someone to help me with this, but due to the potential danger I was experiencing (inability to speak and inability to breathe) its immediate removal was mandated.

Because the pump was on my back I could not get to it easily and the doctor warned me I could rip a  “proper” catheter if I did not to it exactly right.

But be that as it may, I was able to pull the device off which gave me much needed relief.

Then on 12-1-2021, two weeks after my surgery, my bandages were removed.


During one of the days following surgery (I've lost tract of specifics), and, out of the blue, I received a phone call from Aisling Rice (Director of Operations at B The Difference), who had heard about my plight with Neurofibromatosis through someone who actively reads my blog posts and whom I am in touch with by phone and/or email but have never met.

The fact that I had suffered an injury involving my arm had nothing to do with why I was contacted... it was just serendipity, or evidence that perhaps my guardian angel is working after all... for I've now been informed that I am the recipent of a generous grant (from B The Difference) to cover part of a medical need.


I am so grateful for this and I've applied their monies towards an outstanding balance of a dental procedure. 

Hopefully one day when I'm in better shape, I will be able to make contributions to others as B the Differnce has done for so many. To learn nore about B the Difference, please click here.

Meanwhile, since my arm's movement is compromised, a turtle in Central Park is the one giving B the Difference a HIGH 5!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday's (11/29/2021) Memo


On this Monday after Thanksgiving, I am pleased to announce that, for a limited time, APPLE is offering a 50% discount on all of my books that are in their on-line bookstore.

These include, WORDS IN OUR BEAK, THE APPLE BOOK VERSION VERSION... as well as BIRDTALES, and IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS.