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Monday, November 26, 2012

"The Monday After Thanksgiving" (in 2012)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a Christmas ornament — "floating" near some trees! Christmas is one month and one day from today, the Monday after Thanksgiving, and of course the stores and the media have been cashing in on this fact since Halloween. 

Moreover, a big portion of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade had (as it always does) a good number of floats and balloons "dedicated" to the Christmas holiday, including the ornaments seen here against the "back drop" of Central Park.

Tonight the neighborhood tree lighting at Lincoln Center will take place, and on Wednesday the Rockefeller Center Tree will be lit. "Normally" a tree lighting ceremony at The South Street Seaport this week, but, as per info on the web, "South Street Seaport's annual holiday traditions have been hampered due to the aftermath left behind from the enormous impact of storm flooding in our neighborhood."

New York City seems like several different cities at this time, as several areas are quite devastated by Hurricane Sandy, while others continue to go about business as usual. If one cannot donate monies or time directly to hurricane relief efforts during this holiday season, there is always something one can do locally for their friends in need, such as visiting the elderly, homebound and those that are in assisted living centers such as the one I have volunteered at for nine years.

But reaching out to others does not have to involve a lot of time or money, as every little bit helps! For example, yesterday, a man from my hood, helped me pull my Chelsea Larch (AKA Japanese Larch or Larix Kaempferi)
out of a "high-end" container in which it had been planted in my urban (NYC) garden, as I wanted to donate the container to his garden at our parish, but, because the larch was root bound, I was afraid I would break the container getting the tree out, hence my need for his help.

It gets dark so early now that I was not able to get my tree into its "replacement digs," a container which has been awaiting my wonderful larch! 

Therefore I had to prop it up in the container without planting it properly and hope that it would survive the cold night in order for me to plant it today, which I plan to do (with Michael's help) later this morning or early afternoon on this Monday after Thanksgiving.

"The Monday after Thanksgiving" may be a "phrase" that will remain with me throughout my life as it was one of the last things my father said before his death in 1995. On November 22nd of that year, my father recorded a tape from his hospital bed stating, "The doctor hopes to have me out of here by the twenty-seventh . . .  that would be Monday. The Monday after Thanksgiving,"  but alas that was not meant to be, for he took a turn for the worse and ultimately died on November 30th, 1995 — three days after "the Monday after Thanksgiving." This is something I have written about in prior posts here on Blogger, including an entry which may be found by clicking here.

In any event, seventeen years later, on this Monday after Thanksgiving, among other things, I hope to be successful in giving my Chelsea Larch a comfortable new home!

As for this day also marking the count down for Christmas, I won't start writing cards or decorating my home as I do not like to rush the season — or any season for that matter — as I have indicated before when folks were rushing the onset of spring, the onset of fall and the onset of events in general

However, I do confess that I've put a number of "pre-Christmas" figurines (deer) in my indoor succulent garden as it is an "installation" where I frequently change decor. In this instance I wanted to remove my Thanksgiving figurines, yet not fully decorate for Christmas at such an early stage, so I "replaced" the Thanksgiving figurines with a deer family until I "officially" decorate for Christmas. Photo-ops of this lovable family enjoying my succulent garden as well as the back story on the man who created these deer will be posted some time this week, so please stay tuned! Meanwhile, a "sneak preview" (image) of one, a "member" of my deer family can be found below.

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

By the way if this adorable guy looks familiar to you, his "extended family" were a part of my terrace garden decor last season.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Change of Heart?

(Note the "scratches" you may think you are seeing are strings supporting "Bob")
It seems Sponge Bob (pictured above) was as surprised to see me as I was to see him yesterday morning, a "mild" one (weather wise) for Thanksgiving! For on this particular holiday, in bygone years in New York City, where I live, weather conditions have often been either rainy or windy or both, not exactly a "comfortable" atmosphere for a parade — especially one so huge as the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Sponge Bob is one of the participants in the parade, and since I have not watched television since the 1980's, I don't know much about him. I'm more familiar with good ol' Charlie Brown, the beloved Charles Schulz character who is pictured below, where he can be seen "marching" in yesterday's parade.

(Note the "scratches" you may think you are seeing are strings supporting CB)
Although I now live very close to part of the route of the Macy's Parade, it is an event that I prefer not to make an effort to attend, as the crowds are often massive, as well as aggressive. 

Be that as it may, one of the first times I made an effort to go to the parade was when my grandmother's sister (and hence my great aunt) Ruth came to New York City to visit me. 

The time period was during one of my first few years of living in Manhattan, and during those years I was living in a rooming house (or SRO as "we" refer to them in the city). It was a miserable place to live, but I managed to procure a room for Ruth, and she insisted we navigate the crowds to travel and to see the parade — even though it was very windy and rain was pouring down.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"If it's Tuesday, it must be tumblr . . . " Week No. 38

As you know if you follow TLLG's venues, if it's Tuesday it must be tumblr! I usually post the link to take you there much earlier than this so I apologize for the delay. A new feathered friend (a tufted titmouse) pictured here has been visiting my urban garden and has distracted me! I'm sure that upon your gazing at him/her you can surmise the cause for my distraction! 

However, I'll have more info on my new friend in the days to come, so please stay tuned! Meanwhile, the link to take you to tumblr can be found by clicking here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lumpy, Bumpy Greenmarket Thanksgiving Pumpkins AND THE WISDOM OF BIRDS

There are an array of greenmarkets all throughout New York City where I live, and one such market at Tucker Square takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays where, in by-gone years, have purchased Rosmarinus officinalis  AKA Rosemary  from a grower who participates in this particular market. And I've often gotten cheese from Bobolink, a cheese-maker that I have featured on Blogger in the past, including a post which you may refer to by clicking here.

In any event, this past Thursday, November 15th 2012, I went to the Tucker Square market with coupons for "freebies" in my hand as I was in search of pumpkins and gourds to photograph for my line of autumn and Thanksgiving cards. What I discovered was some pumpkins which were "lumpy and bumpy" (seen in the back row of the image above today's blog entry), and I immediately thought of them as a "visual" way of describing how the lumps and bumps that I have all over my body (as a result of being born with the neurological "disorder" known as Neurofibromatosis Type-One or NF-1) appear.

I asked the grower about these "odd" looking pumpkins and she referred me to an Internet source where I was informed that this lumpy/bumpy appearance "is not a hideously disfiguring disease that's suddenly stricken one of America's favorite autumn staples – these pumpkins have been genetically engineered to look that way. It takes at least 10 generations of cross-breeding to produce a pumpkin that's adequately covered in warts to be sold under the Super Freak label, according to Roy Pearman, director of sales and marketing for Siegers Seed Co., based in Holland, Mich., which "puts the genetics together" to create seeds for the bumpy, heavily wart-covered pumpkins and gourds."

This info leads me to believe that there is no political correctness in pumpkin patches when it comes to describing "favorite autumn staples," which is not surprising, given the type of verbal abuse I have experienced re my lumps and bumps; and an innocent pumpkin cannot defend himself against cruel remarks such as being considered a "super freak" and cannot get legal representation against such injustices!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thank God It's Friday (TGIF) AND For Many THINGS

Part of my morning routine is to read Mutts, the comic strip by Patrick McDonnell, a comic strip which I have referred to a number of times here on Blogger, and if you'd like to refer to entries regarding this, please click here

Meanwhile, Mr. McDonell's "episode" from Monday, November 12th, is posted above today's blog entry. I adore all of McDonnell's characters as well as the "stories' of occurrences in their daily lives; but I was particularly touched by the one I'm featuring above today's blog entry due to my appreciation for all the birds which visit my rooftop garden.

As anyone who follows TLLG here on Blogger, tumblr, or Facebook, knows, I have been thrilled by the birds which visit my garden, and I have been saddened whenever Cam (one of my visiting cardinals) disappears for prolonged periods of time. I have posted her picture below for those of you who may be new to TLLG's venues.

Moreover, if you'd like to read "stories" about Cam's antics, you may do so by clicking here for entries that have been published here on Blogger; or here for posts that have been written about her on tumblr. 

Additionally, you may click here to view a Virtual Story (mini movie) which features a number of photo-ops "showcasing" her.

In any event, whenever Cam disappears, my reaction is very much like Mooch's — the cat — in McDonnell's comic strip, I don't wonder if it was something I said; rather, I wonder did I frighten her somehow? Did I leave too much food or not enough? Did I not plant "things" that attract birds? Did I not clean her feeder throughly? And, also, in my saner moments when I realize her absences may have little to do with me, I always worry that she has been injured and that I could've of devised a way to insure her safety. 

My reactions are clearly tied in with my abandonment issues re having a father who left our family when I was quite young and a mother who insisted if I talked to him in the "right way" he'd return, which he never did.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IF the dog hadn't STOPPED to SNEEZE . . . .

The anniversary of my father's death will be at the end of November, for he died on November 30, 1995; and indeed it is a fact you might recall, as I've referred to this event here on Blogger in prior posts, including one which you may refer to by clicking here. One of my father's favorite sayings was, "if the dog hadn't stopped to sneeze, he'd 've caught the rabbit!" The dog's itchy nose was the rabbit's fortune, as you probably can surmise; but, as you can also surmise, that has nothing to do with why my father reiterated this quote time and time again.

I confess I tend to be an "if only XX had happened, YY would be ok" type of person: playing scenarios that have come and gone, over and over in my mind, as if that would somehow change the outcome; but alas, there is no Edit/Undo or Ctrl/Z outside of life in cyber-space.

Most recently (this past Friday, November the 7th), I was caught up in what I had done wrong re plans I had made with my friend, Michael (pictured above). 

Michael is a longtime friend of mine who lives across the street —  a few doors west of me — and among other things, we share a love of gardening. Moreover, it was Michael who helped me prepare my urban (NYC) garden for a so-called renovation in September; and then again for Hurricane Sandy this past October. I've discussed both of these "scenarios" in previous entries here on Blogger, and you may refer to them by clicking here as well as here respectively.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest."

The quote, "God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest," which is attributed to Josiah Gilbert Holland (an American novelist and poet), is layered with meaning; but since this is not a dissertation, but rather it is a blog post (albeit a belated one as it was scheduled for yesterday) I am only focusing on one aspect of the quotation, and that is the literal translation.

Since God does not throw food into the birds' nests and since I can't see their nests, I provide food for birds that visit my rooftop garden in a variety of ways; and this blog entry is a pictorial account of some of the ways I do this as well as some of the ways my visiting birds respond to my efforts, and one of my visiting mourning doves is sitting atop my one of my urban hedges and staring at me through my window as I write this because he wants to make sure his brood is included in the photo-ops within this entry. Due to the fact this posting is about birds that eat in my garden it would be hard not to include him, as the mourning doves nosh here more than any other visiting bird and often I'm concerned that their overwhelming presence will deter other feathered creatures from enjoying a bite to eat on my roof extension garden!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"If it's Tuesday, it must be tumblr . . . " Week No. 37

Yowzers! As if the on-going sound of jackhammers and constant "buzzing" of other construction equipment being used to reconstruct an entire building a few doors west of me was not enough to make me plug my ears, one of my visiting blue jays tapped his blue tootsies on the arm of my bouncer until I looked up to see what he wanted.

Thankfully his "noise" is not as bad a sound as finger nails on a chalk, board but the bird did want to get my attention and this time it was not for food! As it happens, he wanted to make sure that I did not indulge in a diversion this Tuesday here on Blogger (which has been my tendency these past few Tuesdays) but, instead, send you directly to tumblr, for, after all, he's been around long enough to know, if its Tuesday in TLLG  land, it must be tumblr

And just why is this blue jay so eager for you to get to tumblr? Well, he's no bird brain! He knows fully well he's been featured a number of times on TLLG's tumblr venue; so, without further ado, the link to take you to my tumblr pages can be found by clicking here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

That Was the Week That Was

A couple of the mourning doves as well as a couple of house finches who visit my rooftop garden here in NYC, got together — at one of my feeders — late this afternoon to nosh, and after nearly emptying it, they wanted to discuss how they survived the hurricane ultimately named Super Storm Sandy, when it slammed the city and surrounding areas a week ago today!

I'm told that these birds' initial plan was to meet to discuss the events of this past week (for the memo re their meeting stated, "that was the week that was" — borrowing a title from an old sit-com).

However, instead of chirping about Sandy, three of the birds seemed to focus their gaze to the northwest, while the other eyed yours truly (through the "window" of my bird-house-style feeder), as seen in the photo-op at the top of today's blog entry.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thoughts for All Soul's Day

Eight days ago, on October 25th 2012, at 5:26:01, I took this image of one of my house finches enjoying my Kiwi Vine in my roof top garden (in NYC); and he was even using one of its branches for a "launching pad" to take off, and fly around in peace for the first time that day! 

For as it happened, all day long, ruthless jackhammers had been being pounded below the surface of a building (a few doors away from me), which is being renovated. 

This renovation has been going on for months, and the workmen are pounding the jackhammers from early in the morning until late afternoon, disrupting all the folks who live within earshot. I had been concerned about how the noise has impacted the birds who visit my garden, but folks told me "the birds are used to it."