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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The majesty of wildlife

We live in the middle of the woods with hills surrounding us. So it is not unusual to see wildlife. Even in the summertime bear meander through our yards periodically. But I still get a thrill when I see wild creatures up close.
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As I was reading in the sunroom a movement caught my eye and I saw deer stepping gently past my window. I grabbed my camera which still had the zoom lens on it and got some amazing shots.
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This one is my favorite. deer 020

“Mother Nature is our teacher—reconnecting us with Spirit, waking us up and liberating our hearts. When we can transcend our fear of the creatures of the forest, then we become one with all that is; we enter a unity of existence with our relatives—the animals, the plants and the land that sustains us.”
Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

“Walk in kindness toward the Earth and every living being. Without kindness and compassion for all of Mother Nature’s creatures, there can be no true joy; no internal peace, no happiness. Happiness flows from caring for all sentient beings as if they were your own family, because in essence they are. We are all connected to each other and to the Earth.”
Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

Tablescape Thursday

Do you like home tours?  Do you love to see tables that are set up creatively? Then you need to visit Between  Naps On The Porch every Thursday.  You can link to Susan by going to my sidebar. There you will find a wonderful array of tables all decked out for company.  Today I decided to join them with a little Spring table. 

It is still snowy and below zero here in western Pennsylvania and these hyacinths gave me a little Spring in my heart.  

There is nothing to compare to the sweet smell of their blooms. 

I kept the table very simple using lime green polka dotted placements. 

I gathered a few cobalt blue dishes to complete the blue theme. 

The green silverware and napkins kept the color scheme going. 

Thanks for joing me today at my little spring table. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ladies who lunch

This month our Red Hat ladies (who are no longer Red Hats and who are calling themselves the Circle of Friends now) went to lunch at Sprague’s in Portville, NY. spragues 2.14 065spragues 2.14 067

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It is famous for making their own maple syrup and as you walk in you can see the huge evaporators behind a wall of windows. They even have maple leaves embossed in their cement walk. spragues 2.14 081

There is a nice gift store with country items. I love the puppet selection. spragues 2.14 079
The atmosphere is definitely country and this table of critters greets you as you walk in. spragues 2.14 071

There are huge antler chandeliers and a great stone fireplace.
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There are even bears sledding on the roof of the kitchen.
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The food is always good. Their specialty is free range turkey and biscuits but today I had pancakes with their own maple syrup. It was my turn to play host with Joan and Lisa so we brought African Violets to brighten up the table and raffle off. That little bit of bloom really brightened out day at the table.
  Next month we will go to the Runway CafĂ© at our local airport.

My town

There is an interesting Facebook page called I Grew Up in Bradford PA. Kin Nicholas is a great photographer and goes around town taking photos with a distinct viewpoint. It makes me look at our town in a different way. Here are some of her shots. 

This last one is an old photograph of a theater which has been long gone. At one time Bradford was a booming prosperous oil town. There were many hotels and this was a rich town. Many famous people stopped in Bradford on their way from Buffalo to Pittsburgh to perform here. We have quite a fascinating history. Our town is the home of the Zippo lighter and Case knife. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We're getting on, we can afford to live a little

Did you sigh like I did when Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson walked hand in hand into the waves?  How I will miss Downton Abbey. What will I do on Sunday nights?  This was the best program on tv in a long while.  Great writing, fascinating story lines, and so many characters to follow you had to follow every conversation or you'd miss something. Dear Downton, please come back soon!

Da grass, da grass

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Look, a patch of grass. We’ve had so much snow that this little area of brown grass excites me. It’s been a cold winter, only seventeen degrees as we speak. But the sun was out and that always cheers me up.

Have you ever played Marbles?

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This board game was introduced to me by my sister who  learned to play it when she lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. She belonged to a Newcomers group that met to play this fascinating game that you cannot buy at a store. I had my board handmade by a man in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. It’s not a hard game to play once you learn the rules. It is a little like Sorry.
  Today Lynda Rook had us to her house for lunch and to play marbles. She delighted us with great food…a chicken casserole, a unique carrot dish, breads and lovely fruit platters. For dessert she made Peanut Busters, an ice cream, oreo, chocolate and Spanish peanut delight. The company was great and we enjoyed the afternoon laughing and having fun.

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Furry Friend

guess who's coming for dinner

Goodbye Downton, Hello Blacklist

Now that the Olympics are over and the weather still is freezing and snowy it’s time to settle in with tv watching. Blacklist will be coming back tonight with a new episode. This week looks like there will be interesting things to watch.
  Tonight I will be watching The Housewives of Beverly Hills. I know, I’m a reality tv junkie.  I love watching how the other half lives.
  I recently caught two new shows that look like they have promise.  The first is About a Boy with Minnie Driver. She has always been one of my favorites and she’s great in this sitcom. I usually don’t like sitcoms…I hate laugh tracks.  But this one doesn’t have a laugh track and was so well written I think I will put it on my list of shows to watch. It will be on Tuesday if you are interested.
  ABOUT A BOY -- Pilot -- Pictured: -- (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

The other program I caught was Growing Up Fisher about a blind father and his son. Again no laugh track and well written story. I hope this marks a new trend in tv writing. For so long I think they thought the audience were imbiciles. Both of these shows are on NBC.

Get a look at the heartwarming new comedy, Growing Up Fisher, premiering on NBC February 23.Survivor also starts this week. There will be plenty to watch…American Idol, Shark Tank, and Dance Moms. Looks like a good week for tv.

Guess who’s coming for dinner?

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Look who I found in the bird feeder this morning.

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Squirrels have to eat too.squirrel 2.14 008
He knew I wouldn’t mind since he kept me entertained. squirrel 2.14 017

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I got out my new camera and tried the zoom lens.squirrel 2.14 049

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lifelong learner

Education was my life. I loved school and luckily had no trouble with my studies. I also loved art thanks to my wonderful elementary art teacher who provided instruction and encouragement. All through school I took every extra art course I could and college prep courses.  I had no idea which direction to go after graduation but thanks to a math teacher I decided to go on to college to major in art. My life took an unexpected turn after January when just at the start of my second semester my parents were hit head on and my whole family ended up in the hospital. I quit college to come home and take care of my mother who had a broken neck. And there my education could have ended if it wasn't for Ray Geiring. He was a former neighbor and principal of my elementary school who had moved on to teach at Clarion University when he heard I wasn't considering going back to college he wrote me a letter which provided the encouragement and guidance for me to continue to pursue my college degree. 
    I became an elementary teacher and spent my career teaching. My minor in art came in handy as I used many artistic techniques in conjunction with my teaching skills to help children learn. I loved teaching. 
   I have always loved learning. I continued on to get my Master's degree plus forty eight credits beyond. When it was time to retire I worked for the University of Pittsburgh and supervised student teachers for a few years. 
    Since retirement I have continue my learning by taking some online courses to learn better computer skills. Blogging has led me to try out new things that I would have never learned in the past. And blogging led to wanting to be a better photographer. I am currently learning new photoshop techniques. My motto has always been ..keep learning. 
  Today Dr. mardy's Quotes of the Week were all about Lifelong Learning. I would like to share some with you. 

  Michelangelo showed insatiable curiosity until his death at age 88.  When he was in his seventies, he drew a sketch of an old man holding an hourglass -- some say it was Father Time, others say it was an image of himself -- riding in a child's cart.   Just above the drawing, he wrote in Latin: "Ancora Imparo."  The saying has been traditionally translated as "Yet I learn" (and more recently as "I still learn").

One's work may be finished someday but one's education, never."
         Alexandre Dumas (the father)

  "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."
         Albert Einstein

  "I am learning all the time.  The tombstone will be my diploma."
         Eartha Kitt

  "The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece.
   The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning."
         M. Scott Peck

  "One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute."
         William Lyon Phelps

  "The wisest mind has something yet to learn."
         George Santayana