Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Flowers have a mysterious and subtle influence upon the feelings, not unlike some strains of music. They relax the tenseness of the mind. They dissolve its vigor." - Henry Ward Beecher

The next to last photo depicts a lovely, sweeping view of the Hudson River and Catskill Mtns. beyond.  It was taken from the steps of a formal garden on the grounds at Bard College.

Just up the road from campus is Montgomery Place (the front porch is shown in the bottom-most photo).  The grounds of this historic home is where many of the flower and amphibian photos I've posted as of late were taken.  I've been visiting once a week for the last month to see what is newly blooming and what is due to mature next.  The irises are mostly fully open at the moment as the lilacs, bluebells and bleeding hearts fade.  Next up are peonies, and I'm very much looking forward to them.  

This coming week will be our last living in this very pretty part of New York - well, perhaps until spring semester 2016.  Tim will soon be off to Washington, D.C., and I will soon be headed west for taller mountains and larger open spaces.  A city girl, I am not.  They certainly can be fun and provide any number of delightful distractions, but I quickly get overstimulated and need to retreat.  So the boy will intern & spend lots of time at the museums while I hike, camp and have long conversations over meals with friends.  Well, I have to work as well.  No one really gets to live in Yellowstone for free after all! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Watching frogs, taking drives, baking bread

a small orchard - one among many in this area of New York

lots of mosquitoes, frogs and bird noises here

hopefully no alligators, but I did see a muskrat who was too quick for me to get a photo

the first tulip to blossom in our front yard

lovely area chock full of bluebells

"Whadda ya lookin' at laydee?"

the Jabba the Hutt of this here pond - or at least that's what I imagined it to be

just chilling on the old lily pad

I love this sign although I've yet to see a turtle

whole wheat with sunflower seeds and oats - yummy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Teen Geek and my need to read

books that just came in the mail

Our local library offers a wonderful service on Saturdays called Teen Geek.  Folks are invited to come to the library with any sort of device - laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc. - about which they have questions.  Or in my case, they just need someone approximately 1/3 their age to tell them how to use something they got as a gift.  Yep, that's me  - technologically challenged.

I broke my Kindle back in early November when I dropped it on the kitchen floor.  Tim replaced it with one of those tablet thingies that does a whole lot more than download ebooks.  Okay, I admit I was a little intimidated which is why it sat in its box until about two weeks ago when I decided the Teen Geek was going to show me the way.  After insisting he couldn't make fun of me for not knowing how to use it and being a little afraid of it, he smiled and made magic happen.  That might sound a smidge dramatic, but that's how I look at it.

And I've been reading like crazy since.  In the last two weeks, I've read actual books and ebooks like it was my job.  (If only!)   

I read all four Kate Atkinson books about ex-cop-turned-private-investigator-turned-civilian Jackson Brodie.  I watched season 1 of Case Histories a few years back, and once I stopped seeing Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy of the Harry Potter movies, I was hooked.  The books are a little gritty at times, but I love me an English cop drama.  (Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn, is a favorite.  I love how she calls everyone "pet."  Perhaps I should read those books too.  Hmm.)

I read the first book in the Hunger Games series.  I know, I know....I'm only years behind the trend on that one.  I have seen the movies at least.

I read another in the Flavia de Luce mystery series - The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley.  I stinking love these books!  I have a suspicion these will be a reread in a few years' time.  If you haven't read them, and you're a fan of English mysteries, go get them!  Borrow them, download them. 

I'm currently rereading Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy in anticipation of seeing the movie with Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba.  I love the late 90s production with Nathanial Parker as Farmer Oak and Paloma Baeza as Bathsheba!  I have a copy on VHS, PBS nerd that I am.  

Good gravy, how boring would life be if we couldn't lose ourselves in books now and again?  

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.  – Oscar Wilde