squirrels, photography, flowers, friends, travel, perseverance, growing old, life goes on, Nature's beautiful creatures, road trip, making memories

New Hampshire happenings…

There isn’t just one story to tell since I’ve been back at my friend’s house in NH. We mostly just talk and talk. And eat. Ice cream for lunch one day, but lots of other good stuff too. I see the birds in the feeders out front, and the squirrels who torment my friend to no end by eating all the bird seed. We’ve visited the Squam Lake Nature Center and gardens. But mostly we laugh at ourselves when we can’t quite remember the word we are searching our brains for. Our opinions of the state of the country and universe are as in sync as ever. Grow old along with me… and be my forever friend.

A charming statue in the garden.
A runaway ballerina caught my eye too,
A coyote laying in the sun,
A bear keeping in the shade.
We finally found bees.
Lots of bees.
A lovely stone church in our travels.
More hummers at home,
Even with a nice background we were shooting through the window and had reflections to deal with.
This little guy was enjoying the feast out front until the squirrels destroyed the feeder.
Who me?
a second look, birds, coping, finding my way, growing old, let it go, life, losing it, moments, nature, perseverance, photography

Cheering myself up…

I’m attempting to cheer myself up with my photos today. I woke up in a down kind of mood, for no particular reason. So then I decided to get a haircut, and I got scalped! So I could go crawl in a hole for a couple of weeks while my hair grows, or look at my pictures of the cute little chicks I saw the other day. I hope they can do it for me…

I had been there for a little while without spotting egret chicks, which was my goal for the day. Then along came a gal who visits every day, and she kindly pointed them out to me. I think they are the ugly ducklings of the rookery, but they will grow into such beautiful birds.
They were secluded in the nest, but soon they will be big enough to poke their little heads up higher and yell to mom to feed them.
These wood stork chicks are a few days older I think, and their lung power is developing nicely. I think these guys are adorable, at least when they are little.
There is a certain lack of privacy in the rookery. I was looking at the egret and seeing bobbing heads. I sometimes think they look like they are babysitting their neighbor’s chicks.
This anhinga chick is singing along with mom, or maybe that’s dad.
Have no fear though, more egret chicks are coming…
a second look, attention to detail, blessings, brainstorms, changing times, childhood, Christmas on the brain, coping, facing facts, faith, family, growing old, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, memories, pastries, perseverance, photography, Yummy

Salvaging the spirit…

I have become a bah humbug sort of person. I don’t say that proudly, or lightly even. I grew up with a reverence for the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, and I loved making Christmas for my own kids through the years. Growing up in a big Italian family there were many treats to be had at Christmas that we didn’t see for the rest of the year. As the daughter of a fireman and a nurse I spent the major holidays at my aunt’s house, with my working parents coming and going, plus lots of relatives dropping in to visit. Special times that I couldn’t have appreciated at the time what treasured memories they would turn out to be. So when I got married and moved away I did my best to recreate the holidays I treasured. I made lasagna for Christmas dinner, something the family had switched over to some time in my preteen years when they decided that they were ITALIAN, for goodness sake, and weren’t going to duplicate the Thanksgiving dinner at Christmas anymore. I made the Italian cookies that are flavored with anise. I made strufoli, the tiny honey balls we only had at Christmas, and, when I could find it, I bought Torrone, a nougat candy that came in individual boxes that were exquisite little works of art in themselves. For many years Christmas was a wonderful time of year. But those days are long past, the kids are grown and gone, and even the grandchildren are grown. It feels like the media has taken over all aspects of life, including the holiday, and you can’t escape the pressure to be HAPPY, to spend more and more money. The meaning is lost, hence bah humbug.

With my bad attitude I have disappointed the new special person in my life who still treasures Christmas. Our first Christmas together and he didn’t expect my usual light-hearted self to just want to get this whole thing over with. We will visit his relatives for Christmas, and when a discussion of what to have for Christmas dinner came up my offer to make lasagna was accepted. That perked me up a little. It really warmed my heart when my daughter said that she is making lasagna for her crew too, and she is making strufoli for the first time in years! Now I will make strufoli too. I collected all my recipes yesterday, and my friend wanted to stop at the nice Italian deli near him, and I wondered out loud if I might find Torrone there. Boy, did I ever! Torrone in the little boxes. Torrone cut into wedges like a slice of layer cake, some topped with chocolate! Torrone packaged in the shape of Christmas trees! I stood there with my mouth open, and possibly drooling, as every where I turned I found Torrone. So, yes, I did find Torrone, and I think I might have found my Christmas spirit too.

The feature photo is a display of containers of strufoli, larger honey balls than the ones we used to make, but it made me happy to see my familiar treats. I wrote this post early yesterday, before a heart-warming (and tear-jerking) message from my daughter showed up online. I was already on my way to finding that elusive Christmas spirit, and now I’m happy to say that my strufoli is made, and my lasagna is coming together. So let me wish a Merry Christmas to all with a happy heart. And the new year? Well, there is always hope…

'scene' along the way, black and white, connections, coping, foggy sky, friends, growing old, healing, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

In a fog…

I confess that I took these photos nearly a week ago. We had to be at the surgery center at 6 AM for my friend to have cataract surgery, and we drove through pea soup fog to get there on time. As I sat and waited I looked out the window and was drawn outside to take pictures. There was a golf course across the street, conveniently located for photos, I thought. Truth be told we had to return several more early mornings last week for follow up appointments, and each of those days were nearly as foggy as that day was. Tomorrow the second eye will be done, so lots more appointments and potential for more drives through the fog. Such are the challenges of Florida mornings when the overnight temperatures are cool.

This is the surgery center property with the golf course across the street.
I thought if I crossed the street I would get better pictures, and eliminate the power lines. The street was surprisingly busy for such an early morning.
Once I had my unobstructed view I didn’t like it as much as I liked seeing the fence, etc.

My friend is also a photographer, and it seems to me as if he has been seeing life through a fog all his own. I can’t wait to see his reaction once both eyes have adjusted to a new, clear, reality…

a second look, blessings, connections, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, history, leap of faith, learning, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset, technology

Things have changed…

I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.

But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, facing facts, family, friends, growing old, life, live and learn, Passing time, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset

The sunset of life…

I’m definitely older these days, and I think I’m also wiser, in my old age. All my life I was guilty of the mindset that said, “If only I had _______, then life would be perfect.” Sometimes it was something as silly as the perfect piece of furniture for that empty corner, and other times it was a big wish like a ‘dream house’ or, later I scaled back to a ‘dream kitchen’, and patted myself on the back for being less greedy. In the last few years I’ve been yearning to live in a location that would give me a perfect view of the sunset or sunrise right from my own back yard, surely that that would make life itself perfect. But this morning it occurs to me that life is perfect just as it is. And, truthfully, it always was, because of the people I love and who love me back, and the joy of old friends who ‘knew you when’ and love you anyhow. Life is good…