Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Priscilla's Very First #TongueOutTuesday

Captivated by the bounty of the Brown Eyed Susans, Priscilla turned to me, tongue wagging in sheer joy as if to say to me she could not believe what she was seeing. She leaned down towards the root of the flower, took a long sniff and then basked in the shade the flower lent her so that she could rest a bit before journeying on. #TongueOutTuesday

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Brown Eyed Susan's are Flowering in Abundance on Long Island...

Here you can see a large patch of Brown Eyed Susan surrounding one side of Saint Kilian's Roman Catholic Church in Farmingdale. The weather has been a dreary humid blanket of grey the last few days - really yucky, so the sight of these yellow lovelies are a welcome reprieve.
It looks like the Sun is doing its best to break through today though and the good news is tomorrow is supposed to be a full on sunny day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Heat Wave Antidote

This is the place to be, walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or just dipping your feet in our wondrous Atlantic - one or all of the above at Robert Moses, my favorite beach on the Fire Island National Seashore. I'll take it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The other side of the Massapequa Preserve

Last weekend was only the second time I rode the Bethpage Bikeway towards the northern shore of Long Island. Normally I walk or bike the South shore part of the trail through the Massapequa Preserve. When I googled a map of the bikeway to try and see exactly where I was headed, I found out the entire trail is also referred to as the Bethpage Bikeway. I also discovered this great website called TrailLink where you can see the route I took as well as other bike trails on Long Island.
Though this part of the trail that I rode my bike on didn't have the water views I am used to seeing on its southerly side, it has at least a few hills that make your heart pump extra  - accompanied by these gorgeous sky views, which also look way better in person. And it's all free!

Friday, July 22, 2016

a #flashbackFriday post...Getting ready for the weekend...

Notice Priscilla's trance like state? I imagine her thinking how much she is enjoying the warm water as I pour it over her back. I always try and let her get a good soak in before I start washing her head. Once water is poured over her head, it's 'game over' and she is no longer enjoying her bath. I totally sympathize so I make sure to be gentle. This photo was taken a few weeks ago in between visits to her favorite groomer, & God only knows what goes on at the groomers. I pray for both they and she whenever Priscilla has a visit with them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sunday Night Sunset

I try to remember to spend time outside in the evening after dinner so I can take advantage of the long summer nights...and also so I get to see skies like this too. This same sky looked equally beautiful in Springtime too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Fragrance is Otherworldly...

Peeking out from the side of our house I was surprised to see a whole bouquet of these tall pink Lilies thriving in their shady corner of our backyard garden. The humidity has been pretty intense as of late but that doesn't seem to be deterring these beauties from putting on quite a show. Thank you sweet smelling Lilies.

"Good things come to those who wait"

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Coffee at the Beach

With coffee in hand, I arrived before nine AM to a fairly crowded beach with masses of Long Islanders right behind me. With the humidity being what it has been lately the beach was a welcome reprieve for sure.
If you don't mind the rocks and seashells one needs to traverse to get past the waves, the water was cold but bearable and very refreshing - like hydrotherapy at the spa. There's nothing like a cold soak to get the blood moving.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Early Morning Light in Farmingdale New York

No filter here, just pure unadulterated iPhone picture taking. When the sun shines, all the colors change making everything the sun touches full of beauty and promise. Back in 2014 the area where this apartment building stands was completely renovated with new housing. Though it seems like everything took forever at the time these new buildings were being built,  it also feels like yesterday when construction first began and we had to look at mounds of dirt and heavy machinery day in and day out. This is not the most pedestrian friendly part of town, but it is new and directly across the street from the Farmingdale Train Station.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Definition of Toniest: Fashionable Among Wealthy or Stylish People #tbt

East Hampton is perhaps one of the "toniest" towns on Long Island. Years ago when Ian was just a wee boy, Anthony & I would take day trips out to the eastern end of Long Island for quick getaways when East Hampton was much quieter, much less populated and much less expensive. We'd get an affordable t-shirt in one of the touristy t-shirt shops or a donut where you could watch them being made fresh daily through the storefront window at Dreesen's deli. I still love East Hampton, especially Main Street that most people drive along on their way to Montauk. The trees that line the street are so tall and old they alone are worth seeing as they, along with the pond that divides it evoke a rural like atmosphere that is not often seen anymore in towns on Long Island.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A hot summer day at Montauk Beach...does it get any better than this?

Judging by this scene, I would say this dog is a free spirit. I'm pretty certain she is carrying not one but two sticks in her mouth as she trots on down the beach. One of those sticks happens to be longer than the length of her body too! Yet her confident body language tells me however large those sticks she's carrying might be, she is quite happy that she's got both pieces in tow.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Still Life with Milkfat and Patriotic Colors

I snapped this grainy photo at the John Papas Cafe in East Hampton one Summer as I stopped for a very early morning breakfast with Ian & Anthony en route to Montauk, NY for a little vacation/family time. We've stopped here before, over the years. Speaking of which, it's been at least a few since we've been there. Imagine Belgian waffles, pancakes, eggs over easy, orange juice & coffee.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

It's official, now that the 4th of July weekend is upon us everyone should expect to see ads in this weekend's newspaper for school supplies.
I will be headed to my favorite beach at least one day this weekend for sure. This is a view of Robert Moses from the Atlantic Ocean.
I hope you all have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Today's Art

A #tbt to last Autumn when I was visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum, I turned a corner then took a double take looking at this woman when I noticed an eery stillness about her before realizing she was not really human.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Weldon E. Howitt Track & Field

This is a beautiful track to do one's exercise - if you don't mind tiny grains of black gravel stuck in your sneakers for like...ever.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Most Favorite Type of Surprise

A whole crop of Echinacea popped up in a part of the garden where I had two or three of these plants growing the last couple of years. Much like the Forget-Me-Nots I also grow in my backyard, these girls must have re-seeded themselves.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Chickens for Sale..$9.99 "not Guaranteed"

Starkies in Farmingdale is selling chickens for $9.99. As I crouched down to take their pic the whole lot of them became very interested in me, walking closer to me in order to get a good look at what I was all about. Then just as quickly lost interest...except for this one.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

From the other Side of the Fence

Though they seem to be suffering with some type of mold, these ramblers are still going strong. As the inherited part of our garden, I have posted these Rambling Roses before over our old backyard garden gate. If you look closely at the picture in the link, you can also see the hordes of cherries in the infamous cherry tree (I am obsessed with).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Butterflies are Free to Fly...

As Priscilla and I carried out our morning garden inspection, this beauty swirled around us (seemingly) effortlessly and then landed on the tree branches hanging directly over Priscilla - not that Priscilla who was busily and intensely sniffing at the air noticed.
I'm guessing the hundreds of birds that hang out in our yard did the damage to this butterfly's wing. If you only saw her flying you wouldn't know she was missing part of her wing.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thinking about that coffee I had in Berlin last January #flashbackFriday

A coffee drinking experience that entirely changed my thinking about coffee and how it was the impetus behind the way I would prepare my own coffee at home once I got back to the States. Is there anything better than the daily rituals we create? I never expected to love visiting Berlin, Germany as much as I did, nor their delicious coffee for that matter either.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I have been thinking about this pretty girl ever since I met her #tbt

Last February I visited the Netherlands and while there, met adorable Famke. My husband and I stayed at the Taverne guest house through Airbnb. You can see it in the above picture in the background. By itself the house was amazing but Famke and her humans made it even more so. She and her "parents" welcomed us with perfect hospitality making a memory for us that whenever I think of, I feel so happy. Yesterday I started a drawing of Famke you can see the beginnings of here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Poopy Pouch's...What's New in Farmingdale

 During a recent walk to our favorite mailbox, Priscilla and I were both surprised to discover the free poopy pouch dispenser in our Farmingdale Village Green. Personally I am already prepared with my own poopy bag compliments of my NYTimes delivery service - who happens to wrap my newspaper in a plastic bag sized perfectly to accomodate Miss Priscilla's "business". I mean, that is what recycling is all about, right?
Whatever the case, it is good to see these pouches available to our community at large. Sometimes I forget to bring something for the take-away and from what I have seen during my walks with Priscilla, sometimes other people do too. Recently I have read many different opinions on the matter of dog walking etiquette. I just assumed it was standard practice for people to never let their dog pee or poop on other people's property. Priscilla is always on leash but it seems that male dogs are harder to control where they pee, stopping with no more than a half second's notice. Some dog parents I know make sure to have their dogs do all their business before they leave their own property so they are walking purely for exercise & the socialization that is afforded by their sniffing all the scents their animal counterparts leave behind.
Due to her size Priscilla is very easy to control but I do let her get her share of sniffing in. Sometimes I get worried that my neighbors might think that just because I let her sniff in front of their house, means she will leave something behind. If she does, it is strictly on the curb strip and if it's number 2, well, that's what the poopy pouch is for right?
I am extremely lucky that I work from home and between her trips in and out of the house all day and her daily walk, Priscilla gets plenty of activity which is very important for her health both physically and mentally. What do people do when they are away at work all day? Do they have a neighbor or professional dog walker come to help walk their dog? I know wee-wee pads are good for smaller dogs but what about the larger ones? I just heard Rover has recently branched their dog walking services out to Long Island which must be a huge relief for those of us who need the help. For me, walking Priscilla is one of the highlights of my day, but if I couldn't walk her, I'd still want her to get a good walk in, even just for the exercise. Like the human she thinks she is, Priscilla is always in the best mood after some exercise!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Today's Art is brought to you from RISD's ISB Gallery

I've been waiting to share this RISD student art piece ever since I shared the storybook, Pink Flynn that was exhibited at the same show back in May. Looking at this "Workshop" is like entering an imaginary world that at the same time seems very real. Isn't it easy to imagine the above taxidermist taking such precise care as he preserves the history of our world's natural wonders? Below you can read a little bit about the artist's thought process behind this piece.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Like thieves in the Night, the Squirrel's and Birds Stole Most of the Cherries

I am guesstimating, if I am lucky, I have enough cherries for two more pies. Priscilla is very disappointed. What was once a nearly two week long cherry pie making marathon in June, suddenly ground to a halt when I noticed half the cherries on our backyard cherry tree had magically disappeared without a trace over the course of just two days. 
I have never before seen our cherry tree plucked with such discretion - not that I witnessed any of the actual plucking! Other than the cherries being there in abundance and then suddenly not being there, it was hard to imagine how the plucking activity was possible without my seeing it. I do spend a fare amount of time by my kitchen window sink that does look out onto our backyard cherry tree. "One can only assume it was the squirrels and birds who ate the cherries," said the raccoon & possum. 
After making yesterday's pie, I understand why the animal kingdom that resides in our backyard couldn't help themselves - the cherries this year are tastier than they've ever been.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let the Cherry Picking Begin!

Behold these sour cherries ripening to a perfection never before seen. Can you tell I am excited? I was a bit worried about our cherry crop being less than adequate this year. As usual I am behind on my backyard gardening and there were green splotches all over the bark of this favorite cherry tree of mine - which I simply could not attend too when other priorities took over the investigation of said splotches. I hope these beauties taste as good as they look!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

These were Planted by the Birds..

I love that these grow (unprovoked by me) in my backyard! They are not the most succulent berry I have tasted but I probably don't know enough about them to flatter them properly. This pic is an oldie. Presently there are two new large Blackberry Canes growing within the Rose of Sharon around our patio in the backyard. The birds must've planted them... if you know what I mean.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Love is Love #Orlando

Our hearts are broken but we must not let them break our spirits. "They" will never win. Orlando, you are us and we are you..love is love.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pneuhaus Art Installation in Providence, Rhode Island #tbt

"..creating architecture out of air, and color out of light, they perfect the ephemeral gesture." ~ Leora Maltz-Leca on the work of Pneuhaus.
Pneuhaus is a design collective that created the structure above. Ian mentioned they were exhibiting for a few hours outside in downtown Providence and suggested I bring his grandparents to see it. As soon as I walked inside the very large inflatable tunnel like structure, I noticed my skin color change as the light outside the inflatable affected the inside color of the "room". I also loved how this piece was so toy like though more beautifully made and with more integrity than any inflatable toy or bouncy house I've ever seen. No one I was with was in any hurry to leave and they loved talking to the creators who answered all their questions about the art with infectious enthusiasm.
This little slice of heaven was a welcome retreat during a busy three days in Providence RI last week. Thank you Pneuhaus.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

More Beautiful Sky Over Farmingdale

Dramatic changes have been taking place in Farmingdale. The apartment building to the left used to be a parking lot and the one further away used to be a dilapidated building.
Here is the same scene in wintertime before the apartment buildings were erected.
The town of Farmingdale is very convenient for those who like the beach which is a 20 minute car drive away. For those who like Manhattan, you can get there in under an hour - providing the LIRR is running on time. With New York City's current housing crisis, it's no surprise these residences seem to be filling up fast.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sunday Night's Sunset

Did anyone happen to catch it? I only went outside to see it when I saw a golden other worldly type of light flooding into my home. I felt like I was on the set of Close Encounter's of the Third Kind.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cherries for cherry pie, happening right now...in my backyard

I'm obsessed with the Cherry Tree in our backyard. I don't even like to travel when this tree is producing cherries. Basically I can never make as many pies as I would like too every year. I think last year I made 7, or was it 9? - which is very time consuming. Sometimes I bake them at night & leave them out to cool on the counter, then have pie for breakfast. Onetime my husband, who is the epitome of self control had his cherry pie a la mode for breakfast. That is how good the cherry pie from this tree can be - pie that is so good it can break a man of his steel will!
It's too early to tell if we are going to have a big crop since the cherries at this stage are the same color as the leaves, so it's a bit hard to see just how many are up there. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

#tbt Inspiration from the Rijks Museum

I love painting and I love looking at paintings. For the last four years I have been focusing on animal portraits with their humans. It is no easy task to paint a picture like this. And although my art is nothing like the painting pictured above, I am inspired by it for sure. Notice how the hunting dog is timeless and never out of fashion, yet it is painted in 1833!  Devoted, humble, stately are typical dog characteristics that Kruseman captured in his portrait. My favorite parts of this painting are how the artist painted the dog's fur, the woman's shoe peeking out of her dress and her exquisite hair.
What do you like about this piece, if anything at all?

Portrait of Alida Christina Assink painted by the artist Jan Adam Kruseman 1833, photographed by me at the Rijks Museum February 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More Wildflowers along Nature's Trail

As much as I love plants & flowers, I am no expert on them. Other than a few common names, I rarely know most flower's names. After finding these tall ones at the Massapequa Preserve last Sunday, I googled "purple wildflowers" into the google images search bar. I then scrolled through a wide variety of purple blossoms until I found a bunch that matched mine exactly. Dame's Rocket is her common name. I'd love to know how someone came up with that title! Sounds like another Google search is in store. Meanwhile thanks to Wiki I did find her technical name "..Hesperis Matronalis is a herbaceous plant species in the Mustard family".

Monday, May 23, 2016

"Pink Flynn" from Rhode Island School of Design's ISB Gallery

A couple of weeks ago while visiting my son at the Rhode Island School of Design, I also made sure to visit the RISD Illustration Gallery. If you're ever in Providence, I suggest you check out their ISB Gallery located in The Illustration Studies Building at 55 Canal Walk. Below is a description of this insightful children's book pictured above. As a lapsed Vegetarian, I can very much relate to the storyline in terms of what happens when one makes a radical change in their life. Basically, not everyone around the person who does the changing likes it so much. The good thing is, you find out who your true friends are. Illustration is a means of story telling and to me this story is about learning how to be true to yourself while also understanding your impact on those around you. Pink Flynn is a story about the reality of life that all of us as humans will experience in one way or another. The beautifully executed illustrations help soften the blow of the reality of this thought provoking story, as the reader can't help but take pause and ponder the imagery encouraging us to think about what it takes to evolve in this complicated world.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

the Gypsy Moth Suppression Program

I only spotted this one nest this morning but it was all I needed to bring back memories of the Gypsy Moth invasion Long Island had back in the early seventies. The part of Farmingdale I lived in during that time had a small wooded section of land I used to ride my bike past and I remember seeing hundreds of these nests in the trees. It was a literal invasion. Though I can't remember the last time I've seen these nests anywhere on Long Island, a quick google search revealed this Wiki map proving they are well on their way to world domination.
More searching revealed a Gypsy Moth Suppression program that has been going on since the early 1900's. It turns out these caterpillars basically like to eat trees. If you look closely at the upper mid to right side part of the nest you will notice a caterpillar on its way to breakfast.
If you happen upon these hungry little caterpillars, don't touch them since their hairs can cause a rash. You can read all about Gypsy Moth Management here.
I also spotted this Lacecap Hydrangea during my early morning trail walk too, and you all know how I feel about Hydrangeas...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Waiting for the Sun to come out so I can go play some tennis..

We played one early evening a couple of weeks ago over at these courts at "Heisser Lane" which is what we always called this park when I was a kid. Everyone referred to it as such only because a road by the name of Heisser Lane exists alongside it. The actual name is Allen Ellsworth Park.

Friday, May 20, 2016

#flashbackFriday...Thinking of my time in Berlin last January

I first became aware of this angel from the Wim Wenders film "Wings of Desire" and like the angels in his movie, this monumental angel bears witness to all life around it and has literally seen it all - from humanity's best inclinations as well as its worst. The black and white imagery from "Wings of Desire" is stunning. To see this angelic monument from the movie in person felt surreal. Below is me trying to fit my inspiring angel and I into a selfie as I rode my bike around the column's traffic circle - one last time before leaving Berlin.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Poppy came out today.

The petals on these Poppies look like tissue paper but they feel incredibly soft. I look forward to seeing them every year. Their orange color is so bright my eyes catch their glimmers through the fence even if I am standing very far away.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


This Allium is from another Springtime bloom over at the Farmingdale Teaching Garden. I thought this gorgeous color might perk up this cloudy Tuesday - not that I mind the rain.

"The Best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain" ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fluorescent Forget-Me-Nots

As the light changes, so do colors. Taken last evening just before the sun went down, the blues and violet blues in this Forget-Me-Not flower patch were so completely different from one moment to the next. With little prompting, these inherited garden flowers of ours have grown substantially over the years from a couple of small flower patches to much larger ones. I enjoy cutting them for resting in tiny vases inside our house where they seem to last forever.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Where Sunrise Highway Meets Broadhollow Road

A typical Long Island exit path from one major roadway to another, here is another shot I took from last weekend while riding shotgun on the way home from takeout. I love the blurry effect this photo has, making everything look as though it is miniature. I also love how the sun illuminating everything is bringing out the natural beauty and lushness of the land.