Black Gold

I have the Beverly Hillbillies theme song running through my mind as of late.

“. . . and then one day he was shootin’ at some food,

& up through the ground comes a bubblin’ crude,

oil that is Black Gold, Texas Tea . . .”

It is black-raspberry season, and I love it.  I know, in the song they were singing about oil being black gold, but, for now, I’ll accept raspberries!

There are a lot of good reasons to pick black raspberries:

It is relaxing —even meditative

They taste great! Yeah, some don’t make it into the house and into the oatmeal!img_20180626_085849920_hdr~21251014808..jpg

The view is beautiful from the garden

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You find out that German Shepherds are more than watch-dogs. I mean, really? Auggie has learned all the life pleasures above and can even decipher the ripe from “not quite so ready yet!” It is definitely more fun when your dog picks berries with you!

Have a great day!

Enjoying the Adventure, (Time to pick more raspberries!)

Dr. Dink

____________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Pencliff

Chaos to Beauty

Sounds of mistakes, that only practice 

can forgive, were being heard. 

Rahul Gaur

adult black and white classic concert
Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com

In his essay, Return of the Symphony, Rahul Gaur describes individual musicians in a orchestra practicing prior to a concert.  I was in a concert band and know what this sounds like, a flute practicing trills, the solo trumpet trying to perfect his part, the saxophone tuning and running scales, all simultaneously.  The sound is both chaotic and hopeful. And then the curtain rises, the conductor lifts his baton and everyone plays in concert with one another. The opposing sound is a shock of beauty.

adult art band blur
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In order to bring about the soothing, gorgeous power of an orchestra, each individual has to practice their part. In an orchestra there is no room for individuality, beyond the fact that each person has chosen their particular instrument. The precise movement of sound and tempo bringing each note to it’s melting point with unified glory is what “makes” an orchestra. This takes patience. This takes individual responsibility to work through the difficult phrases. It takes a symbiotic relationship, working though mistakes until those mistakes are forgiven and orchestrated perfection is reached.

If you have ever played in a concert band, or any group of musicians, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, please know the music you listen to does not “just happen”, it takes not only talent, but work and practice . Considering Rahal’s saying, “Sounds of mistakes that only practice can forgive were being heard.” Is such a relevant description, not until the kinks are worked out and practiced through, then and only then are the musicians of the orchestra ready for their performance.

I can’t help but think of this saying as a metaphor for life. Isn’t it true that no matter what it is that we are attempting, mistakes can and are often made. This is true for relationships of various types. It is very true for those of us who attempt to communicate, mistakes are made, adjustments (and editing) bring us to a place of forgiveness and the speech is given, the blog published, the letter sent.

The thing is, oftentimes in life, we make mistakes and neglect to realize the forgiveness. Therefore, chaos enters. Hands are thrown up in frustration and practice not thought about. Often, we forget that life is about mistakes, trying again, practicing, perfecting. Or adjusting so that we can all live together in the wonderful symphony of life.

I think I shall frame this saying to remind me everyday that my mistakes can eventually be a thing of beauty, if only I try.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

Thank you Rahul! Return of the Symphony

_____________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Pencliff

Coffee With Paul . ..

My dog decided to wake me up at 4:30 this morning. I realized quickly that I wouldn’t be going back to sleep, so I put on a pot of coffee and decided to check Facebook. What else do you do when your waiting for your coffee at 4:30 AM? Eh? One of my “Friends” had posted James Gordon’s episode of Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney.

I’m still smiling. Growing up in the 60’s with the Beatles, this video brought back my musical memory. I wanted to sing along, but I don’t think hubby would appreciate that very much! They visit many places that inspired the songs –which truly made some of the lyrics make sense! And, yes, I’m still smiling.

The video is around 20 minutes long. If you get the chance, you’ll be smiling too. As a matter of fact, watch it on your TV,  you’ll be smiling too! I’m including the video, get yourself a cup of coffee, or ale & enjoy! Have an awesome day!

 

Nostalgia is a good thing! Have a great day!

Enjoying the Adventure! (Yes, still smiling . . . )

Dr. Dink

__________________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

Pencliff

Water and Words

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I just read a wonderful blog about the power of water, entitled, “Water Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink“. The writer, Pradnya, is from the area we all know by many visual news stories from Christmas Tsunami in 2004. What an excellent read! In this story, she talks of the necessity of water, it’s power and, of course, the ability to cause destruction.

This blog inspired me to think about a phrase I’ve said many times over the years, “We have the power to heal as well as the power to destroy.” In context, this phrase was used in teaching about the use or misuse of words. Words are powerful, no one can argue that. They give us inspiration, direction, encouragement, and curses. One word used in a caring, thoughtful way can change someone’s life for the better in an instant.

However, misuse of words can leave scars that last a lifetime. Inner bruises that no one can see but the receiver. Pain that healing salve finds difficult, sometimes impossible to reach. I remember a childhood saying, “Sticks & stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Did I teach my children this lie? Please forgive me if I did. Words can destroy.

There is a prevalence of nasty, negative words used everyday. I hardly watch the news anymore, as there are times the news isn’t news at all. It is nasty propaganda. Many shows are the same. Social media has become a boxing match of vocabulary for many. This choice to hurt leaders, teachers, community service workers and on and on and on HAS GOT TO STOP! What are we teaching our children about:

Pride

Grace

Kindness

Chances

Second Chances

Joy

Giving of Oneself

Respect for elders, leaders, teachers?

(You can add to this list in comments!)

Just as water is needed daily for the body’s health and wellness, for crops and the sustenance of all living things. I believe words are as powerful. I believe that this movement of nasty negativity began as a trickle, a leak and it has become a raging, deadly flood. I also believe that this can change.

Will you become the leak of positivity?

Will you begin the day of grace in your corner of the world?

What would happen if kindness goes ‘viral?’

I believe it can. It begins with me. It begins with you . . .

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

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Water Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink is found at: Peppered With Stories

Sunset Photo compliments of: Pam Martin

Please visit my other Blog: Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Pencliff

Blue Butterfly

I went outside and on the rail of the back porch sat this beautiful butterfly. I feel special anytime I see a butterfly, but this one was SO BLUE! It just sat there, so I approached him slowly, and put my finger before him, much like you would for a parakeet to perch on your finger.

blue and black butterfly on green leaves

Blue was tempted as he moved closer and touched the edge of my finger before he leisurely flew away. My, my, my . . .

I hope that anyone who happens across this blog will be fortunate enough to have such a wonderful surprise!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Virtual Library

Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

You Decide . . .

It’s summer, you know what THAT means, bugs of all kinds just messing with you and they really enjoy it.

I was standing at the stove, making a really good dinner and I hear my husband running down the steps holding his finger straight in the air. No, not THAT finger! The other one! Now, he is from England, so please hear this with a really cool whispery voice and the lovely accent as you read, it adds to the drama.  “Oh, bloody Hell, that bugger, fOck, a hornet stung my finger!” Hornet stings really hurt, they are the worst, maybe they are the Godzilla the of the insect world. He made a paste of baking powder to put on his finger, then was on his hornet-murderous way.

 

On the other hand —

There was a fruit fly in my Merlot.

You decide! Have a nice day!

I know, Damn fruit flies!

 

 

Enjoying the adventure, 

Dr. Dink

_________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

Virtual Library

 

Uninstalled!!!!

OK, there positivity girl . . . and to think you were going to write about that beauty of a blue butterfly today!.

“SHIT IF I MUST SAY”, was a saying that we used to tease my mother-in-law about every time “something” went wrong. One day, many years ago, she had lost her keys. You know how it is when a “lost” item is somewhere and so you check the same place the 10th time, even though the nine times before it failed to be there. You know it’s not lost, stop saying that, “I just don’t know where it is”. Evidently they were found when getting ready to cook dinner. She absentmindedly left her keys in the freezer of all places. “Shit if I must say!” came out of the mouth of the organist and soprano, church choir member. Scandalous! Just scandalous!

What you heard out of my mouth

yesterday afternoon

was not attached to

“if I must say”.

The weather app gave us the “your clear”. No rain for 5 days. Honey! Drop everything, we have until TUESDAY! So we did exactly that, we literally turned off the rest of the world and started stripping the roof off the flip house. Knowing we only had five days, we have worked hard and fast. I think the only time we stopped was for food and sleep. Yesterday MORNING the Weather app changed course and gave us yet another day, no rain until WEDNESDAY!  Phew! Maybe we can breathe!

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Yes, that speck is me on top!

Yesterday with the demolition over we were finally screwing in the plywood underlayment! Yay! However, it was so hot and humid and I started to feel sick from the heat, and went home to cool down. I was worried about my husband, so, a couple of hours later I returned to fetch him. I literally had to duct-tape my husband, drag him away to the car to make him come home for a few hours to cool off and rest. (You know that look a wife can give, it’s as strong as invisible duct-tape which will put the fear of God in any man). So, we had a few hours to rest and would return after five when the sun wasn’t quite as hot. The roof was about 1/3 covered. We had gotten a lot done and could finish in cooler temps.

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Maybe the friendly vultures on peak were an OMEN?

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Remember the “clear skies until Wednesday?” When I woke up from “resting my eyes.” The sky seemed a bit dark. I looked on the same Weather app and see a yellow bar with a severe thunderstorm warning. So I checked the radar to see that the storms were far north. However, No, No, No, the storms that showed far north evidently had something else in mind. I think the skies were like a woman on a trip who waited too long for the rest stop. When the rain started, it came in buckets. The storm lasted only five minutes, however, it was five minutes of buckets, cats and dogs, wind, rain and yes, puddles, literally puddles inside the house!!!

Hubby gets points for contracting knowledge, “You never finish anything until the roof is done”. Fortunately, all we had done on the house is strip walls and floors. The damage caused is minimal because there is little left inside to destroy. There will be some insulation to replace and one ceiling that I thought I could patch, rather than pull out will now be pulled. Actually, we are quite fortunate.

HOWEVER, I’m not feeling exactly positive this morning! Thus my point. The worse thing you can do in trying to maintain a positive lifestyle is to be in denial that nothing wrong, bad, annoying, disturbing, disastrous, or that will rain on your parade are not going to happen. They will. As I said words, without “if I must say” attached to them last night and was on the brink of crying . . . don’t say to me, where’s the positivity?  It is not here in this situation right now, however, I know it will return.

Actually, after cleaning up buckets of puddles inside, when the second set of storms came, we were on the roof, in a thunderstorm, trying desperately to get the tarps set, I was reminded of my childhood when my Dad would set out tarps for a slip & slide, gosh, that was fun, but this wasn’t!!! It was terrifying.

Where is the positive in this? 

  • We are alive.
  • No one got hurt, except my hubby’s toe and that plaster ceiling.
  • Today, we are taking a day off.
  • I got to remember my Dad & childhood fun slip & sliding . . .
  • We will have a great story to tell about replacing the roof . . . eventually

The best and probably quite passive aggressive thing I did out of all this? I uninstalled the Weather App!!!!

Well, “Shit if I must say!”

And, Yes! I must say!

(Still) Enjoying the Adventure! (I can write about the blue butterfly another day!)

Dr. Dink

 

 

 

A Second Wind

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What a lovely surprise, when my husband and I stopped in town to drop off some recycling on our way home from work. We heard music that drew us across the railroad tracks to the park. Both of us were so tired we could hardly stand up, because today was day four of a roofing project on this house we are flipping. My mood was, “like a woman too hot, too tired, too sweaty and, well not exactly prettied up for a concert!”

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The band was in the park’s gazebo with a nice little crowd sitting on lawn chairs and quilts. There were also peculiar decorations in the park and around town called, Yarn Bombing, it’s quirky and very cute.

Looking around, I asked hubby, “Are we showing our age being here?” Sometimes when men are too tired they don’t think not to tell you the truth. “Yes, I believe we are!” It seems that most of the audience had WHITE HAIR!

The band was playing, oldies from the 1930’s era. While they played “All of Me” I walked and took a few photos as they were singing and couldn’t help but swing a bit while taking a photo of the bridge where we were married in this same park. It was a lovely surprising evening.img_20180617_195342840_hdr1870923304.jpg

Rather than go home, tired and yucky, this little concert in the park, in our little Victorian town gave me a second wind. The last song they played was, “Roll Out the Barrel” which brings back many memories for this girl who grew up in the shadow of Philadelphia and the Mummer’s Bands. I think it possibly brought out a third wind. Hubby and I even did a 30 second Polka. No, we didn’t dance the whole song, if you had been climbing 50 steps multiple times a day and carrying heavy stuff for four days up on the roof without your fiddle, would you dance a whole polka? That’s what I thought!

img_20180617_195938742906452387.jpgAll in all, this hometown Sunday evening concert was just what the doctor ordered! By the way, the name of the Band was, The Second Winds! I think I’ll get out my saxophone and go ahead and practice with them on Tuesday at the Senior Center.

Enjoying the Adventure, (and grateful for the Second Wind)

Dr. Dink

 

 

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Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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HUSBAND!

I LOVE MY HUSBAND!

BUT . . . there are times when,

well,

you know.

We have been working hard this week taking a roof off a house that we are flipping. We are taking advantage of a 5 day forecast of “NO RAIN” (I’ll believe it when I see it) here in Pennsylvania, hahaha, that’s funny, it’s summer!

So, when you’re up on a roof, with a hammer, a ply-bar and your muscles (or lack thereof) it’s important to have a good hearty breakfast, don’t you agree?  Our staple breakfast is Old Fashioned Oatmeal with flax seed & whatever fruit might be available with yummy cinnamon or ginger spice, maybe a sprinkle of nutmeg. Yesterday morning, of all mornings, (Day #2 of roofing job) my husband decides to “surprise me” by putting ANISE spice in my oatmeal.  He says, “I only put a little”.

So, who’s complaining? ME!

Karen, if you have a man that makes you oatmeal in the morning, self says, NEVER COMPLAIN!!! NEVER!  But Anise in oatmeal? Anise is what gives flavor to licorice. In all fairness, I tried. I added a little more milk, and tried not to smell that $#!+ in my breakfast bowl. I tried to be a WOman about it, but I couldn’t bear it. THEN, I started burping, which LASTED ALL DAY LONG and I didn’t even eat one quarter of the bowl. (Burping, like a woMAN).

As if I didn’t bitch enough about that to him, here I am sharing my bitching with the whole wide world . . .

That I am so grateful

That he put something so

AWFUL

In my oatmeal!

Why grateful you ask?

It brought back to me (in all my discomfort and awful disgust and burping anise) one of  the most wonderful memories of my childhood.

When I was a little girl, every Christmas Eve, we would visit our cousins. I remember one year there was a really bad snow storm, but we went anyway. We loved visiting our family and would have such a great time with our cousins. A part of that great time was the amazing cooking of their Mom, Aunt Carol. She was the best cook this side of the Mississippi, maybe even on the other side too. OK, she was possibly the best cook in the world.

She must have spent so much time in that kitchen baking cookies. They were all so tasty and pretty, but there was one that I was convinced only she knew how to make because I had never seen them EVER, anywhere before. So, every year, I would “try” one because they were the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. Aunt Carole’s pizzelle cookies were the most tempting.  I mean, really —wouldn’t you just want to eat this lovely thing?

Photo from Ann’s Entitled Life

I think I’m right, you would. Of all the cookies, these were the prettiest.

And guess what?

Every year

I HATED PIZZELLES

Why you ask?

Because they have ANISE in them!!!!

That’s why.

Today, as I was sweating on that roof, worrying about the danger, burping anise, I ended up thinking a lot about my family.

I thought about Aunt Carol. She passed away just a few months ago after a long battle with cancer. I thought about the bonds of love that surpass time and separation with my cousins. I thought about, not my hate for anise, but my LOVE for the memory of this smiling, beautiful woman.

I find it amazing that something that I ended up bitching about to my husband turned in to a wonderful day of remembrance.  Never underestimate the wonderful power of memory, even at the cost of eating Anise! By the way, Aunt Carol also made the best homemade pizza! Back in the 60’s, who made pizza at home? Aunt Carol!

Enjoying the adventure,

Dr. Dink

 

I understand that most “normal” people like pizzelles, so please try them! You can find the recipe for the beautiful photo above, and other recipes at Ann’s Entitled Life Please visit her page for great recipes & home ideas!

_____________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Musical Memory

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I love musical memory, except for when it comes to the Purple Dinosaur with his tail swinging as he sings the, “I love you, you love me” song, or the “Noah” song that I learned in Vacation Bible School years ago, I want to scream and listen to head-banging music just to get it out of repeat mode in my brain. But for the most part, musical memory is wonderful.

The other day, I received a text asking for a verse that would be appropriate for comfort for someone who had a death in the family. It would be great if it had to do with the setting sun. Immediately I had a song in my mind that I knew came from the Psalms. “From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the Name of the Lord shall be praised!” (Psalm 113:3) — and I’ve been silently hearing and enjoying it since.

Musical memory is an amazing thing, it can bring us back to places we have long forgotten, our first kiss, that fun trip with a girlfriend, good times, bad times, sad times and times of love, joy and wonder. I love listening to what are considered “oldies” now for that very reason. (Hold on, how can songs I grew up with be considered old? OK, I’ll call them classic rock, that sounds much better!).

I’ve sang songs with people in nursing homes, and watched those who have basically no memory left at all, sing along with songs or hymns with huge smiles on their faces. These have been beautiful moments of the power of music.

What songs “bring you back?” What songs give you pleasant memories, you know, the ones you know all the words to and can’t help but sing along? The songs that you really don’t mind if it bounces around in your head for an hour, or a day. Yes, that one!

Please don’t say the purple dinosaur song, because if you do I’ll start hearing it over and over and over. Which is now, Oh no! Why did I do this to myself?  PLEASE REPLACE WITH A NEW SONG! Let’s have some fun with this one . . . it doesn’t matter if it was last year, a decade or five decades ago . . . what song brings you back to a good place and time?

Enjoying the adventure,

Dr. Dink

My song for today, you ask? Mambo No. 5, of course!

__________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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