Saturday, August 26, 2023

 We've been 'busy' <g> relaxing at the beach house

since our arrival on Thursday afternoon.  

That night was our annual Crab Fest (when I "cooked") and it was delicious as always.  Here's what my 'plate' of six crabs looked like at the end, and doesn't even show that I also pigged out on some shrimp, and corn-on-the-cob.  At least I skipped dessert... <G>  

"Doing the dishes" afterwards is a breeze - 
just roll up the butcher paper and underlying newspaper!

Friday Richie acted as chef.  For breakfast he whipped up  a delicious tomato and cheese fritattta, and then for dinner he baked salmon which he served with saffron rice and a colorful salad.  

During the afternoon Sandy and I had taken Pippa for a walk in the park, where I admired the latest addition, a pollenator garden courtesy of the Ladies' Garden Club.  While I didn't see any fliers taking advantage (wasn't much actually blooming, though each plant had a colorful photo and description of what it attracts) we did see quite a few flutter-bys on our walk.

We continued on, heading out to the point.  

It was very green and lush everywhere, 
but if you looked closely there were other colors sprouting up.

Saturday we strolled through the park, shopping at the weekend's farmers' market that included a number of craft booths.  Pippa accompanied us, though she is definitely more interested in the people, who admire (and pet) her, than the dogs.

Most of the animal arts for sale centered on local fauna (crabs and sea birds abounded), though I did come across this Arizona native!

And maybe one day Beach Therapy will be included!

I enjoy personalized license plates, 
and this one parked alongside a booth made me smile.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


I enjoyed an uneventful flight to Maryland last Thursday – got my preferred seat, and (despite the announcement that the plane would be full) the one empty seat on the plane turned out to be the middle one next to me.  With help I was able to connect my wireless earphones to my laptop, and watched a movie – at least the first part; unfortunately my (fully charged) laptop ran out of juice before the movie ended.


The weather that Andy & Sandy ‘arranged’ for my visit <g> has been delightful – not hot, and the humidity level isn’t even noticeable. I will say that EVERYTHING is very green here.

Saturday was somewhat involved (Emily would have been a great asset planning the D-Day invasion) but everything went off without a hitch.   She needed Ed away from the house in order to set up the surprise, so he started his morning here, when we enjoyed a bagels/lox brunch with 4 of the kids.  When he left to take Charlie and Harry to    rendezvous with a cousin, Maggie and Greta stayed here until Aunt Rachel came by later to collect them

And why take the stairs down to watch a movie when you can ride the elevator?

The boys dropped off Ed for his birthday massage, and Emily picked him up later, ostensibly taking him out for a birthday dinner at a surprise venue.  Meanwhile she had been busy all day, supervising the set up of their backyard for the party, which had 120 invitees. 

There was a Grateful Dead tribute band,


plenty of shaded seating for when it was time to eat,

and a tie-dying station.


The face painter created a lot of lovely designs, 

though Harry’s wasn’t the only artistry that frightened Greta.

Their pool was a happening place most of the day with so many kiddos there 

and there were lifeguards on duty to take the pressure off the parents.

The large yard had lots of activities from which to choose.

Ed had no idea they were actually back at the house (where the street was lined with all the guests’ cars) because she had blindfolded him for the drive.


Ed was truly surprised!

Sunday was another bagel/lox brunch, with my cousin Rachelle & Bob, and 101yo Uncle Allen. (Wish I'd gotten a picture with him!) He continues to do great: still 100% ‘all there’, walks totally unaided (and faster than I do), and still practically breaks a rib when he hugs me.  Sadly his hearing is bad, and now his eyesight has begun to fail. 


Monday included a trip to the cemetery to visit Mom & Dad.

Tuesday we rode the Metro down to DC where Rachelle, a docent at the Holocaust Museum, treated us to a private tour.  Though I’ve been there numerous times it had been a while, and of course it’s always a moving experience.


The soldiers in this photo with Eisenhower, who had certainly seen their share of the horrors of war, all appear shell-shocked by what they encountered when they entered the camps.

Today has been pretty laid back.  While Andy taught his first class of the semester (he’s teaching Evidence again at the law school) Sandy and I zoomed The Only Winner in War is Medicine (from The Smithsonian) which we both found fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed.

  Tomorrow we’ll head to the beach for more relaxing – and, of course, crabs!

Monday, July 31, 2023

 After more than 30 consecutive days with temps 110+ (and a record number of those hit 115 and above) we are cooling off <g> today; the predicted high will 'only' be 108.  But by Wednesday we climb back into the Extreme Heat numbers.  

I should have been at the hot springs in the mountains of Colorado these past couple of weeks, but sadly decided to cancel my annual trip due to concerns about my back/leg pain.  At least I can brag that I survived July 2023 in Phoenix!  And while we never did reach 120 here, we did make it to 119 several times.

I filled up with gas this morning while it was still cool (that's recommended, has something to do with helping the air quality.)  My odometer is just about to hit 100,000, which is usually when I get a new vehicle.  But since I'm hardly putting on any miles these days, I've decided to hang onto this vehicle.

While I was hibernating inside, hiding from July's blast, I did whip up a number of baby quilts for charity.

The colors are really off in this photo.  The rail fence fabrics (not really bright enough for my liking) were in one of the scrap bags I was gifted, and both border fabrics came from my stash.

Also in one of the bags was a stack of already pieced 9-patches, though in "blah" fabrics.  It was easy enough to rifle through my brights, cut squares to set between them, and voila - a much more colorful quilt emerged.

Babies see black & white first.  When I found some miscellaneous black/white/red blocks in one of the scrap bags, I added some of my ladybug fabrics.  Because what kid doesn't like ladybugs?

Everything for this top came out out of my stash (and I still have more of the red and blue versions of the baby toys, which I used some years ago to make a couple of twin sized quilts.)  I also have plenty more of the coordinating rust, blue, and tan fabrics, though I am running low on the brown border batik, which worked great to pull out the rust and blue.

I used some of my leftover blocks and fabrics from Sammy's quilt to make these two.

Scraps from a cute cat panel were enough to create the center of this one, and after adding some paw prints and a bright border it turned out large enough for a baby. 

One remaining pinwheel was the 'inspiration' for this.  Everything pulled from my stash, and the dark border is actually a deep purple; sadly the color is off in the photo.

U.S. Dogs are special and there are oodles of national (and international) holidays to prove it. But unlike most of our doggy days, National Mutt Day, on July 31, focuses on the mixed breed dogs who sometimes get overlooked.
The happy day back in 2019 that this mutt joined the family!

Amazingly Brownie has still been sunbathing all month, despite 24-hour access to the air conditioned house via his dog door (that's his welcome mat at the bottom of the photo) plus plenty of shade on the porch and on the grass under the trees.

THIS was the air temperature in the shade on the porch as he was basking in the sun -

and of course the cement is much hotter than the air.  In fact the news has been full of stories about record numbers of patients in hospitals with third degree burns (!) after coming in contact with roads and sidewalks.  This graphic is only goes up to 97 degrees, so obviously the concrete and asphalt numbers have been much higher this past month!   

And speaking of dogs - today is National Mutt Day.

U.S. Dogs are special and there are oodles of national (and international) holidays to prove it. But unlike most of our doggy days, National Mutt Day, on July 31, focuses on the mixed breed dogs who sometimes get overlooked.