The outdoor propane grill at our house sits outside the kitchen on a covered porch. We use it all year round because meat tastes really good cooked over an open flame. But that first cookout of the summer is always something to look forward to. Today was the day! We got some good hamburger meat from the grocery store, along with corn on the cob, a couple of big potatoes, and whole wheat buns. We went all out. The hamburger was doctored u[ with my husbands special spice blend, and the potatoes were thickly sliced oiled and spiced as well. It all went onto the grill for our summer cookout. There may be nothing better than fresh food right off the grill. I love summer.


Happy Solstice


The Summer Solstice may be my favorite day of the year. The longest day, the first day of summer; it makes my soul sing with joy. All those long summer days full of sun and cheer, all those warm summer nights full of fun friends. Summertime and the livin’s easy. Often I will hike into the woods to a nearby waterfall, this year though, I am still tired from the road trip. I stayed home, dozed in the hammock, and took an inner-tube down to the creek. I just floated around in circles in the eddy under the bridge and dozed some more. My inner voice is sleepy and calm, satiated¬†with warm sunshine, relaxing and rejoicing on this longest day of the year. Happy Solstice!

Migrating Monarchs

10-2-2017 Magic Moment:

Dozing on the hammock again, soaking up the warm afternoon sunshine. I have been spending as much time as I can outside enjoying this warm Indian summer because I know it will not last. I bask in the heat of the day, making this sunshine memory to keep close when winter’s fury is scouring the mountains later. Open my eyes and soar into that vast expanse of sapphire sky, golden sun light bathing the landscape in gilded glory. I rock myself, watching the treetops swing back and forth, when a butterfly flits into my field of vision. Orange and black, flittering up, flitting down, headed in southerly direction. I follow its path with my eyes until it is out of sight. There are a few flowers left still growing, but it was not interested. A few minutes later another butterfly flutters by high overhead. Curious… Then come several more, flying in butterfly fashion, heading south. As I lay there, over the next half hour or so, many butterflies float by, singly or a few at a time, their delicate wings pumping furiously, carrying them to unknown places. Although I never got a close up look at any of them (why terrorize a helpless butterfly on a mission) I hypothesize they might be migrating Monarchs. If that is the case, this is the first time I have seen this phenomena! Amazing!

Fat Spider


Several years back my husband built a roof over the steps that connect the porch to the ground. I was initially against the idea fearing it would block the already meager sunlight that shines into the house in the afternoon. But practically won over sentiment, the roof doesn’t block as much sunlight as I though it would, and I like having the stairs free rain and ice. Many critters like it too. Birds fly between the stairs and the feeder when its raining or snowing, squirrels and chipmunks hang out there as well, as do insects and (of course) spiders. There is one rather large and very fat spider that has a comparably small web in the corner where the roof and post meet nearest the motion light that illuminates the front porch at night. I have been noticing and keeping an eye on this spider for a couple of weeks now. I’ve watched insects get caught and struggle in its web and then spider reforming its web after a busy night, and I’ve watched it grow. It is just a plain brownish spider, with some equally plain greyish abdomen markings, not particularity hairy, but with long sturdy legs. It was fairly large to begin with but now it is fat, like it could pop if I touched it. I have enjoyed the company of this spider eating insect on our porch. I wonder how much longer it will be around before the cold nights either kill it or send it scurrying to a protected winter home.

Picking Blackberries With Mom


My parents are once again camped in the driveway, they will be heading south back to Florida soon, and will have to deal with some minor damage from Hurricane Harvey when they get home. A tree fell over missing the house, but hitting Dad’s outboard motor boat. But right now they are enjoying the last warm days of an upstate New York Catskill Mountains summer!

Behind my garden at the end of the yard bordering the neighbor’s property I have a blackberry patch. The berries were plentiful this year. Every time I wander by that area I eat several handfuls. Yummy berry snack! Mom and I walked over there today and cleaned the last of the berries off the prickly stalks. These wild blackberry brambles stand taller that we do and are covered with wicked thorns, but the even the last berries are plump and juicy. We talk, laugh, and get tangled and untangled in the prickers as we pick and munch. We even saved a few in a small container for the two men folk to eat too. Mom hadn’t picked blackberries in many years and I think the last time I picked them with my mother I was a child. I feel as innocent and carefree as I was then picking the last blackberries of the season, sharing them with my mother and our memories.

Morning Fog


Early morning, cool humid air hanging still in the hollow. Sunlight brightens the hill crest across the way and sends uncertain tentative sunbeams trickling down the hillside behind the house, but the house, yard and creek are hidden in deep cold shadow. A thick whitish blueish mist clouds all vision. Cars in the driveway, trees across the road, deer in the yard are but mirages, bird song echos ethereally through the mist, warbling and distant. An unseen dog barks twice and is silent. The burbling of the creek is muffled as the fog blankets the valley, filling it with enforced quiet, waiting for the sun to rise up an vanquish the drippy fog, burning it away into another summer like day.

Bike Riding With Mom At Glimmerglass Lake


Feeling a little better, still coughing some. This whole episode kind of shook my confidence. I do not ever want to feel the way I did the night I couldn’t breathe. I don’t want to push myself too hard and have that happen again, but I don’t want to physically limit myself self either. Catch 22 anyone.

So, as part of their New York State vacation my parents are staying at Glimmerglass Lake State Campground something over an hour away from our house. We went to see them there, took the kayaks and all, but didn’t get around to launching them. I’ll have to come back for that as a future adventure.

It was a pleasant visit. We cooked dinner over the grill, ate at the picnic table, hung out in the shade and talked all afternoon. They are really enjoying the trip even though I didn’t get to do as much with them as we had planned. They have taken a couple of drives up to see the Adirondack Mountain too, which is awesome! Glimmerglass is about half way between the Catskills and the Adirondacks, which is one reason they picked there to stay for a week.

In the warm evening, Mom and I decided to bike over to the lake. She has an adult tricycle that she loves and I used Dad’s beach comber (very different from riding my mountain bike). The campground, park area, and lake front and are all accessible to biking and we had a peaceful ride. Being in the middle of the week and after Labor Day, there weren’t many people around to begin with and most of them left once the sun started setting and the air started cooling down into evening. We went over the covered bridge, and biked all along the water front picnic are, watching the sun set over the lake in a profusion of pastel. Mostly we talked. It is absolutely wonderful to talk to your mother as two grown women, covering a fast variety of topics, many not even important. Just to have that contact, reinforcing the gossamer threat that keeps us all connected in this crazy world.