Thoughts on this day before our country’s Independence Day. First, let me say that I am very lucky to have been born and live in this country. While I may have lived most of my life well below the poverty level, I rarely felt like I was a lower class of person than anyone else I may have encountered. I also never felt that I was better than anyone I ever encountered. Maybe I am the odd one out, but in my mind that is what this country should be all about.
Due to a fortunate set of circumstances, I have been lucky enough to travel to many other places and countries. None more beautiful than this country for all it’s natural and man-made beauty. I do appreciate that this country has the freedom given its citizens to make choices for themselves on almost everything we say and do.
I am grateful to all those who came before me to give this to me. May you have the safest and happiest Independence Day.
I have a couple of adventurous grandchildren who are always up for almost anything fun. I was doing a bit of whining and saying it had been far too long since I had the opportunity to do any international travel and I would be doing some soon. I had some eager companions who said they were willing to take time off from jobs and school if necessary to go along. My grandson and I settled on a weekend where he knew he could make himself available and we decided on London. So I checked the calendar and flights and hotels and discovered it was the weekend of the royal wedding. He said let’s go anyway so we did.
We arrived Friday morning and first stop was the hotel we were staying in. It offered a great rate but was a bit out-of-the-way. My cell phone never did work while I was out of the country so we had no sense of where we were going. We stopped in a pub by the underground stop that I remembered was near the place for lunch and directions.
By the way, for any of you going there. I am not sure if it was the wedding weekend or just the summer weather starting but it was the worst time ever getting out of the airport. When we got off he airplane there was a queue that snaked through the airport at a snail pace. We spent almost three hours in line waiting to get up to the front of the line and have our passports checked and stamped. This was my 7th trip to London and I have never seen anything so bad. They were bringing water for us standing in line because they thought someone might pass out.
Found the hotel, but they had no storage facility for our bags so off we went on our adventure. First the London Eye. A truly giant Ferris Wheel with huge enclosed cars for about 20 people in each car. Moves very slowly, no shaking or wobble almost don’t even know you are up in the air. A short walk over to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben is in scaffolding for the next 5 years with some major repairs to the building.
We took a pedicab to Buckingham Palace, just because it really is impressive, between the gates and the people and the size and the park area, I’m not sure I would want to live there. Then off to Piccadilly Circus because it is like going to Times Square in New York, just an iconic place to see. I was pretty much done for the day, but when you have an 18-year-old boy along you just keep going.
The greater Chicagoland area, much of the midwest for that matter, is experiencing some unusually cold weather this far into spring. There is a very easy solution, we all just have to head to where the warm is.
We all have our favorites. Many are based on specific activities but we also love a crossover. Look at the pizza cutter which I’m pretty sure was the foundation for the rotary cutter used in sewing.
Some hobbies or pastimes just scream for gadgets. Fishing, bike riding, running, sewing, stamp collecting the list goes on and on. Most are single purpose items that we don’t know how we lived without them.
I am a tea drinker. I like loose leaf tea and not always tea bags and much of the time I only make one cup so not necessarily using a tea-pot. Well…I have 2 devices to hold my tea leaves so I can brew one cup in my cup.
The latest one I found is this egg timer. Nice just before Easter. I had to test it to see how it changes colors. It goes in the pot with my eggs and water and I cook away. In the past if I was looking for soft-boiled I simply timed the process. I know, there are two schools of thought on this as well. Begin timing when it’s put on the stove or begin when it begins to boil, I’m not going there.
The timer changes color to white as each progressive doneness is achieved. I used extra-large eggs which is what I had. Once the soft was fully changed to the solid white color, I turned off the pot and removed one egg only to find a very runny white. Not my favorite. The second egg which I left in the water while pealing the first also had some runny white. The yolk on both was also beautifully runny, but I can’t eat the runny whites of egg. So they both got cooked a bit more before breakfast.
I am not sure there is a moral to this story. I know that I, along with many of you, will continue to buy the next great gadget that crosses my path. Now if I could only invent that next one and retire with my millions!!!
Tuesday, March 20, is the first day of spring. Here in my little corner of the Midwest the temperature will be in the 40’s. So all in all a nice pleasant day, no rain predicted only sunshine.
I enjoy spring and have learned to look for even the tiny hint that it really is happening. Long before trees are in blossom and flowers poke their little heads up the willow trees show you they are getting ready. The branches turn the prettiest shade of a yellow or spring green. When you see that against all the bare dark branches on other trees you know it’s going to happen.
The florist shops are already carrying lovely displays of the blooms that will be here soon. This year we have very few places with snow still sitting but not always. I do remember the springs when we had snow piled up so high on some corners that it did not melt until April or May.
I can’t wait till it warms up enough to forgo the jackets and gloves and hats. Here’s hoping that any more snow storms this year will be fast and fade quickly. Hope you have a lovely spring day!
It’s the dreaded time change in many places this weekend. Is there a reason we feel the need to mess with Mother Nature on every level? She always wins. I guess we have not figured out, she will do whatever she wants.
I know the history of why we do this and those reasons don’t really exist. I can tell you it messes with lots of people on every level. Now we are eating and sleeping at a different time and expect that our bodies will adjust automatically. My system rebels every time, as if to say “What were you thinking?”
Sadly, I have a collection of watches, mostly I wear them as jewelry rather than functional to tell time, but they will all need changing.
My family has discovered and embraced lake life. From hanging out on the beach in summer to ice fishing in winter it is a very large part of their lives. Getting home from work often means driving past the lake and seeing what it looks like today, checking the radar to see can we get some time in on the boat. From early spring to late fall it is all about the boat.
The lake they live near is a nice size private lake that is over 200 acres large. At the deepest part it is about 40 feet deep. There are a couple of large beaches for residents and quite a few small beaches for private use only. The lake supports about a dozen different types of fish as well as a fair amount of migratory water fowl.
All summer long there are events on the waterfront for boaters and non boaters. Summer camp for children is at the beach and lessons are offered in sailing and boating. All sorts of water craft take advantage of the mostly calm waters from kayaks to paddle boards to canoes and jet ski’s.
I think we are quite lucky that the lake has become an important part of so many lives. It gives family a ready event to get out on the lake and watch 4th of July fireworks or a quiet concert on a weeknight. Not to mention the winter of boat repair and prep that has become the new normal.
This is the Nancy Marrill weekly chalenge for this week.
What a delightful and difficult challenge. Somehow I instantly thought of the cats as subjects for this challenge ( I have no idea why). Then I found the book I was looking for. Next step try hearding cats. Well, I got 2 out of 3 to cooperate, sort of. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did trying to have the lions behave.
I was lucky enough to have a friend staying on this island for a while, and following my theory to say “Yes” whenever possible I wound up here. More posts will follow about the wonderful things here, but this was one of the most delightful experiences there. A few of us felt the need to explore and happened on this museum. It is located on 2nd Street in Fernandina Beach, FL.
This is a non-profit, and is owned and operated by U.S. veterans. There is a small fee ($5.00, at this time) to tour the facility and it is a work in progress. They have been open for only a short period of time and it would seem only good things will come of this. Make sure to add this to your list of places to visit.
The displays are well done and cover a great deal of time. Some of the early items are things recovered from the ocean floor. Among the coins, silver, anchors, tools and dishes, one of my favorites was a 40+ carat rough cut emerald. That alone could lead to many stories of how it came to be there.
This goes from the early days of merchant ships to more current maritime activity. On display are the uniforms of brothers and a father and son who are all from the island and served in the military.
We were very lucky to have another visitor come and join our tour. There is a special display that is still being set up and this gentleman gave a portion of the display for exhibit here. It is an actual large piece of metal from the Arizona that sunk in Pearl Harbor. He was in Hawaii about 20 years ago and was in the right place at the right time to have been able to have a piece he took off the ship in his personal collection.
I can hardly wait until I have an opportunity to be in this part of Florida again in the near future. This will be one of my first stops when I arrive.