Macro Monday: Black & White Moment

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Close Ups

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Bright and colorful Autumn leaves get all the attention…all the clicks from photographers. I should know – I’m one of those photographers.

But what about leaves like this one? Not so bright. Not so colorful. Often passed by…unnoticed.

However, I admired the fact that its drab imperfect self was still hanging on, even if just barely. That alone captured my attention.

I think black and white does it justice – outlining a road map of its journey since budding out in the Spring.

A survivor after all.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: November 27

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: November 27

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post was published on November 27, 2018 as an entry for the Ragtag Daily Prompt challenge.

I still say…a walk in the woods…always worth taking.

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Walk

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Walk

It was an adjustment, to say the least, when our youngest child left home for college. For him as well as for us.

He chose a college where it was warm…and far away from our New England town. I understood that, as I had also wanted to establish myself in a college town far from my home.

Colleges have an annual “Parents’ Weekend” in the fall. So parents can check in. And check out their kids. And kids can touch base with their parents. Our freshman son was on his own for the first time and we were grateful for the opportunity to visit.

Although not a big fan of endless parent questions…how are you?how are your classes?your roommate?is the food good?where is the library?…are you okay?, he was happy to show us around campus. He led the way. The grounds of his university were lush with greenery of all kinds. With a bridge. And a pond. In a very warm spot in Virginia. We attended these Parents’ Weekends every year, but the first one…well, that was extra special.

Conversation always flowed a bit more freely with a walk in the woods.

father and son 2006

Thanksgiving Revisited

Thanksgiving 2020 Centerpiece – a gift from my daughter and her family

Today is Thanksgiving Day, a traditional American holiday, but – as one friend texted in response to my Happy Thanksgiving text…Hopefully last one like this....

My husband and I are celebrating on our own this year, as many others are. A smaller version of the feast we used to make years ago…(cooking less is a silver lining here)…we are still as thankful as ever. That part hasn’t changed.

And, no matter what, there will be pie. But just one. Pumpkin.

Do we miss sharing this day with friends like we did last year? Most definitely. And the special times with friends and family from many years back? Absolutely.

But I know we are not alone and my heart goes out to the thousands who don’t have a job or a home or enough food to feed their families…much less a Thanksgiving meal. The pandemic’s ongoing toll.

So my focus today is on gratitude for what I am blessed with…and also for looking back on memories made in years past.

Below is a post I published on November 22, 2018 – the 4th Thursday of November – and, in the United States, celebrated as Thanksgiving.

🥧 🥧 🥧 🥧 🥧 🥧

Thanksgiving

A day – if you’re fortunate – set aside for family.
For gratitude. For sharing a meal.

Usually a massive meal – in our house it was based around turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, some kind of vegetable. Rolls or banana bread. Every year the “fixins” changed somewhat.

The most important part: many pies. The dinner was basically a stop on the way to pumpkin…apple…cherry pies.

And my personal favorite…playing cards while eating dessert: aka pie.

Dinner was also all about the conversation and stories we shared. So much time and opportunity for prolonged discussion when you are passing endless bowls of food around. Pouring wine. Pouring water. Carving more turkey. I just never knew what subjects would come up; but many became classics.

Such as…

In 1990, my husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving.
I had never cooked a whole turkey before. An overwhelming task. I had heard horror stories about overcooked turkeys and dried out white meat. That would never happen to me…I’ll cover it! That should do it.

My parents and my in-laws were coming – to join me, my husband and our 2 kids.

I dusted off the big blue covered roaster pan my mother had passed down to me. Coated the fresh turkey with spices and some oil. Tied the legs together.

I put the cover on. It went into the oven. I set the timer. And let it cook. And cook. Many hours later – when, according to the recipe it would be done, I removed it from the oven. Look it’s ready! With great fanfare, I lifted the lid…Oh No!

It looked like a turkey snow angel! All the turkey meat had slid off the bones. We had turkey stew! There was nothing to carve. Legs askew. Wings fallen off. My mother was horrified. I laughed. And laughed.

It still tasted great…and…the white meat was NOT dry!

♥  ♣  ♠  ♦

The following year:

Twelve family members gathered at the dining room table to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast – including my parents, my husband’s parents, my grandmother, my sister and her family.

1991
1991

Upon noticing someone struggling to remove the meat from a turkey leg, my father-in-law shared a memory…a story that has become part of family lore.

He began describing his job at the First National grocery store in the 1930’s. When he helped get the turkeys ready to be sold for Thanksgiving. The turkey carcasses were brought to the store and his job was to pull the tendons out of the legs. Apparently, this made the turkey legs easier to eat. He went into graphic detail. Right in front of everyone. Who put their forks down and stared at him…as he explained this was probably not done anymore. Those pesky tendons still attached.

GROSS! we protested.

Shocked faces…especially those with turkey legs eaten or half eaten on their plates. There may have been some gagging. My big city brother-in-law’s face turned white. He got up and left the room…

♥  ♣  ♠  ♦

Empty nest Thanksgivings…

 left more time for documenting…

IMG_1302

But traditions remained the same.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Macro Monday: Milkweed Moment

I returned to see what was happening with the milkweed pods I posted for Wordless Wednesday last week. That WW photo had been taken on September 27th. I originally planned to check them out again before now, but you know, the days just seem to blend in together…and time passed.

However late afternoon on Saturday, it was clouded over and the light was flat. I remembered the milkweeds…which usually photograph well in that kind of light. Cabin fever had risen (again), so I grabbed my camera and escaped out the back door (Exit Stage Right! as Snagglepuss used to say).

I followed a path through the woods to where the milkweed pods had been. Since it is now November, the landscape is basically brown…various shades of brown. It was difficult at first to find them amongst the gone-by plant life.

Luckily, wisps of white perched on top of nearby tall grasses gave away their location. I spotted tall stems with puffy hats. That’s what a strong breeze will do with milkweed “floss.”

And there I found the pods in all their glory.

I braved potential ticks in waiting and crunched through a thick ground cover of leaves and brush.

I was not disappointed.

I also took a special liking to the following image. As the saying goes…it resonated with me…

Milkweed 2020

Night

One Word Sunday: Night

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Petworth Neighborhood – Washington, DC
February 21, 2020
6:26 PM

The last time I was able to visit my family in Washington DC was this past February. Four days with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. A dinner out with my son. Memories made.

It was right before the pandemic exploded onto the scene here in the United States.

Little did I know on this beautiful moonlit night that I wouldn’t be able to see my kids again for many months to come.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Any Kind of Seating

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Kind of Seating

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A few months ago, in that sliver of time between the pandemic’s summer lull and the current surge, I took care of a few neglected health care appointments. I had not been to these two facilities in at least a year.

What a difference a year…and a pandemic…can make.

The waiting areas were stark and impersonal. I totally understand why, but it was still a shock to see the rooms stripped bare of anything welcoming. No magazines. No brochures. Just warning signs everywhere.

Even though I did appreciate the vases of fake flowers attempting to add a sense of normalcy, I couldn’t shake the surreal vibe in the air.

However, I did avoid the time-out chair in the corner. It felt too much like we were all being punished. A tad bit too creepy for me.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: November 20

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: November 20

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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The following post was published on November 20, 2018 – as an entry for V.J.’s Weekly Challenge. I know this sounds cliché, but two years feels like a lifetime ago.

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Deviation

This post is inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #24:  Deviation

Which way?

Deciding.
A constant struggle.
When drilled to
Never stray.
Never deviate.
Playing the part
Paralyzed.

That knot in my gut
For years
Warning me
Within the haze
To take a different path.
Safety
Just an imposter.

Which way?

To face the fear
Finally.
Finding the courage
And strength
To discover that
Old realities
Were in fact
A fragile fantasy.

Choosing
A new search for why.
Predictably
Becoming the bull’s eye
For anger.
For arrows of shame.
Exiled.

Finally
Just
Grateful.
The cloud lifting
While there’s still time.

jan 13, 2011

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: White or Cream Colors

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: White or cream colors
Cee’s Flower of the Day

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It isn’t often that white flowers get their deserved attention, so I am taking advantage of this challenge opportunity.

I am also grateful to focus on white (tinged with pink…) flowers rather than life and world events. Just not up to that at the moment.

Thank you Cee!

White tulips took center stage a few years ago in a Mother’s Day bouquet.

They also outlasted their yellow counterparts!