Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joy In Mudville

It was the right thing. Our city has wanted a major championship for so long, and now we have it, and we are so happy. The Phillies took the field last night to resume the game suspended on Monday because of the nor'easter that drenched field, players, and hopes of a win, to score 2 runs and defeat the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2008 World Series championship. It was right for them to win and right that they won it here in their hometown. The whole thing is just right. Congratulations to the Phillies and to Philadelphia. You are the champions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

Photo from Philadelphia Inquirer

Poor Phillies. Poor fans. Poor anybody who was hoping for a Phillies' win last night. It was truly a miserable night. It wasn't just a little rain either. It was cold and windy and raining hard. They should have done something earlier than they did. Nobody could play in those conditions. Now, Tuesday morning it's still raining and blowing and wintery. What's to become of us? Stayed tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pile Of Pumpkins

Longwood has a fall exhibit of glass pumpkins on display. The pumpkins themselves are from Cohn-Stone Studio where you can find many more photos if you like glass fruit. The thing that really interested me is the clever way they've arranged them for viewing. The Longwood staff did the display, not the glass people, at least that's what we were told by the lady who seemed to be in charge of the pumpkins. So you have this whole pile of pumpkins, different colors, different sizes. . .what do you do with them? You can't just load them in a wheelbarrow like this:

[Photo from their website. It makes me nervous just to look at it.]

The Longwood people decided to make an enormous cornucopia out of chicken wire and line it with moss and leaves and bittersweet, set it up on a long table, and pile the pumpkins in it. Then more moss and leaves around the outside and more pumpkin arrangements. It looks quite lovely. It's in the back of the conservatory in a rather dark room and it comes as a surprise when you first see it. I heard lots of oohs and aahs. I hate using a flash so I took these shots without, but I kind of like the spooky, glowing way they turned out.

Undercover Cops

Sorry, Officer, it'll never happen again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Election Blight

Seriously. Is this necessary?
These ugly signs are everywhere. I just wish I could catch somebody actually sticking them in the ground. Boy, would he or she get an earful. They turn the landscape into a toxic dump for their own stupid political preferences. What good do these signs do anyway? Does somebody riding along see one of these and think, "Oh, I'd better vote for this or that person." I doubt it. And what happens after the election is over. Either they are left there to rot or they end up in a landfill somewhere. And these are the people preaching about how we have to save the environment, and here I mean both the politicans who condone these signs and the oh, so, politically involved who stick them in our faces. Show me a politican who bans these and I'll vote for him.
Here's how to ruin an otherwise perfectly nice house.

And how about this as a symbolic shot of where they all belong. Except they shouldn't be there in the first place.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Get Thee To A Garden

It's getting late, you know. The days are getting shorter and the air is cooling down. You need to restore your soul to make the long trip through winter, so get out now--before it's too late--and stroll around a garden. We are lucky here in Southeastern Pennsylvania to have a lot of amazing gardens to enchant us. One of the loveliest is Chanticleer in Wayne. Billed as a "Pleasure Garden," it's also a "treasure garden," and it only takes about an hour to walk around--although it could take much longer if you stop often and just take in its beauty.

You can start or end at the Teacup Garden, a walled garden next to the entry. Lots of exotic treats here, from the bromiliad hanging baskets to the incredible elephant ears.

You wind your way around this place. Plenty of seats scattered about where you can stop and rest and take in the views. In fact, the seats themselves are works of art, as are the water fountains, foot paths, sculptures, and even the tools.

It is an intimate garden with big and little sweet suprises around every corner. It has small secret spots as well as grand vistas.

There are ponds and streams and even a ruin garden.

There are flowers and trees and vegetables to admire.

So even if you don't have a Chanticleer, maybe you can find a peaceful garden near you to tide you through 'til Spring.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Cantaloupe Story

I am telling this story because I just read one that reminded me of it in Paulz blog, only his was a lot more serious than mine. The ending just rang a bell with me. One day I decided to run to the grocery store on my lunch hour. I wasn't particularly rushed, but I didn't have a great deal of time to spare either. As I slowly moved down the aisle watching for a parking space, I saw one open up. Before I could pull in, however, a woman with a full cartload of groceries crossed in front of it and propped her cart against the side of her car intruding into the spot I was waiting for. She glanced at me and realized I was waiting for the spot but ignored me and proceeded to unload her groceries--bag after bag of them--into her car. Then she shoved the cart a little further into the empty space and went around and got in her car. So--I had to get out of my car and push her cart clear to make into the spot. As I moved her cart, I noticed that down on the very bottom rung under the basket she had left a cantaloupe. By now she's almost backed out and turns to look at me, at which point I raise my hand and point down to the forgotten cantaloupe. She got a terribly mean look on her face and to my complete astonishment, gave me the finger. Then she sped off.

I just stood there a second or two, shocked.

Then I picked up the cantaloupe and put it right in my car. And, here's where it reminds me of Paul's story; I pictured the look on her face when she got home and thought "now, where's that cantaloupe I just bought? It must be here somewhere." And slowly the light dawns as she realizes that I was simply trying to tell her she'd left it behind, and she made that rude gesture.

Well, she deserved it, and that cantaloupe was delicious.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Eyes Are Watching

Isn't this great? They have lots of cute halloween decorations inside and out. Love it.

This post should really be called "Work in Progress" because it's mainly about Chris and
Shannon's pool project. They are in the middle of renovating their pool and yard, and it truly going to be gorgeous. Truly. It is.

Here's where they are so far. This is the existing pool which will eventually be totally redone in its current shape and location.

The coping around the top is new and the electrical and filtration systems are in, but the pool still is awaiting its resurfacing which is going to be in a special finish called "Diamond Brite" in the color Onyx. The brochure they have shows the water to be very dark, almost like a pond or a lake. I wasn't quite sure about it, but they say you can see all the way to the bottom. That's good because murky water that you can't see through kinda gives me the creeps. I wish they would see it in real life though before they do it.

They aren't putting in a spa because they don't think they'd use it. Instead they are installing numerous water features, fountains, spouts, ledges, lighting, plantings. . .too much for me to take in.

This is a fire pit for marshmallow roasting and campfire songs, and whatever else you do around a campfire. Maybe Chris will take up the guitar.

This area is going to be the picnic/barbeque spot. There will be a paver patio and new landscaping.
There's a lot of new stonework in fancy walls and ledges. The one below will be a sitting wall.
It's a big project, and I asked if they had an estimate for completion. They said "two weeks." Two weeks!! Oh, my poor innocent children. Then we heard about all the other ideas they have for more stuff to do. Oh, to be young again.
One other thing. See this cute shed? Chris says he wants to get rid of it eventually. Bill and I tried to talk him out of it. I think he could do so much with it. We go to all these house tours and the unique little outbuildings really add to the overall picture. Wouldn't it be adorable with flower boxes and maybe a trellis and a little flower bed around it? Oh, I just love it so much, I hope he doesn't take it down.

Like these, for instance.

Look, Chris! Plants on the roof! Oh wait. I think that's moss.
Or this one, hand painted mural on the inside. I'll try to get a better picture of this.
Good luck, kids. It's going to be wonderful.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Don't Care Who You Vote For

I really don't: that's strictly your business. But I will say that before you vote on November 4th, read this article. It may make you think twice, or it may just confirm what you already think. Either way, voting in this year's election is possibly the most important vote you will ever cast, and I think you should be as informed as possible. This is a long article, I admit, but it is fascinating reading and it goes fast. Print it out and read it in bits and pieces if you can't read it all at once. Then pass it on to your friends and tell them to read it. Put your country first this year.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

God Forgive Me For Being A Party To This Insanity

Much to my chagrin, I am posting my only darling daughter's weekend diving. Never in my life would I have thought she would actually go through with it, for she is, you see, afraid of heights. Well, both she and Marc say it was the coolest thing they have ever done, so there's that I guess. Anyway, here she is in all her splendor.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Falling For Fall

October is here. The mornings start out cool and warm up as the day goes on, and it gets chilly as the sun goes down. The sky is deep blue and the leaves are starting to put on their prettiest party dresses. Add to all that the fact that Halloween is coming--my favorite holiday. I have lots of ideas for decorating this year. Some I picked up on Saturday at Chester County Day. That's a day when you can drive around and look at some lovely and unique homes that you would never in your life see if they didn't open them up on that one day a year. So, thanks for showing them. Many were inspiring and just downright lovely. And they really get you in the mood for Fall. I don't know what I would do without it.

Of course, I have so many pictures that I can't show them all here, but they're in a new slide show on the side if you want to look.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Meltdown - How We Got Here

Where did this economic crisis come from? Did it just happen? Why didn't Greenspan and all the other hotshot economic gurus see this coming and do something about it before it got to this point?

I imagine a lot of people are asking these questions right now. Here's one answer.