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Puppy Love

May 4, 2014

Puppy Love

Bounding about chasing his ball, sliding into the grass and resting for mere moments in the phlox is Cooper, my dear friend’s new bundle of joy. Only a week ago he was lazily resting in my daughter’s arms. We’ve been having such fun getting to know him (and taking his photo). Who doesn’t love puppies?


Shedding “Black Thumb” Status

May 1, 2014

My mom, a real gardener, tending to her plants. I can only aspire.

It’s May! Yeah. Instead of twirling a few times around the maypole, I marked the occasion by replanting my container garden. After two torrentially wet grey days, it seemed only appropriate.

I pared down this year, lowered my expectations. Last year’s yield: little bunches of lettuce and a single red pepper. The rabbits and the weather got to my green beans, and, the rest of the crop? Well, let’s just look forward. Shall we?

So, armed with my trusty trowel and my bare hands (I had gloves somewhere), I cleared the ruins left from a wicked winter. I pulled the tangles of weeds, removed the dead leaves, turned the cool wet soil, and deposited the seeds.

I‘m cautiously optimistic. I’m hoping to reap cucumbers, beets, kale, lettuce, and basil. That’s it. Perhaps I’ll try to plant a pepper or two in the flower garden. But I really don’t want to press my luck. This gardening thing demands attention, consistency and commitment.

So, where is that watering can? (Because of course we don’t have a proper hose.) I spot my gardening gloves though, on the deck, rain-drenched and useless in my attempt to shed  “black thumb” status.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

April 1, 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Street Life (St. Michel) in the heart of Paris taken on holiday in 2012

Daily Prompt: Happy Endings

February 2, 2014

Happy Endings

After chasing the frisbee for hours, Nala calls it a day … but she still won’t give up the frisbee.

What is it about Girl Scout cookies?

January 31, 2014


As I dust the crumbs from my fingers, I wonder why I can’t resist these damn things. Is it nostalgia, or a nervous sugar craving? I stuff another four dollars into my daughter’s Girl Scout collection envelope, and rip open the cardboard top.

Just two boxes of peanut butter sandwich cookies, my closet favorite, were in her pile this year. So I thought I was safe. But these thin mints disappeared faster than wet food from a dog dish.

Before my daughter, I questioned why cookies? Couldn’t the Girl Scouts sell something a little less addictive, perhaps even healthy? Approached by pleading little faces in the past I’d always avoided temptation opting to just donate the money.

But now, it’s a little different. I guess I have much less willpower, and I support my daughter’s interests. And the sinful little saucers are right there, in my house, for God’s sake. If I’m home all day, attempting to write, I’m attracted like a magnet.

They say that cookie selling helps the girls with marketing skills and self-reliance and such. Walking my enthusiastic 10-year-old around our neighborhood in 14-degree weather let me understand. As we fought the wind, my ears literally numb with cold, we chatted and laughed. I was thrilled she wasn’t planted in front of a computer or begging to watch yet another episode of Dr. Who (although I love the show). I guess I was most proud because this outing was her idea.

She knocked on a half-dozen doors, and she sold 10 boxes – 1/3 of her initial stock. Not bad. Some neighbors even asked her to come back with more. She’s approached our family and some friends and has not asked my husband or I to assist her, probably because she knows we think it’s better that way.

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since the 1920s. Originally, girls baked sugar cookies with their moms, wrapped them in wax paper and sold them for 25 to 30 cents a dozen. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the first three flavors of peanut butter sandwiches (yum), shortbread and chocolate mint (now thin mints) were produced.

Now, more than 50 years later, the organization offers quite a few more varieties. I just can’t be the one to eat all of them. Can I ?


Daily Prompt: Style Icon

January 8, 2014

Daily Prompt- Style Icon

My daughter definitely has her own style and this shot just gives you a glimpse.


My Blue Monday

January 6, 2014


It’s a rainy, damp Monday – January 6, 2014 – considered the most depressing day of the year. Which makes me question why I’m choosing it as the day to disassemble and discard our Christmas tree. Whenever this occasion happens, whenever the lights and the ornaments come down, and the smell of fresh pine leaves my house, it is always the most depressing day of the year for me.

It means that my son is back in New York, my parents are back in Florida and my daughter is back in school. And cold, miserable, blustery weather will be the norm for the unforeseeable future.

Plus, it’s the end of something sacred – the season and this symbol. The tree, to me, is our family tradition. We always have fresh, never artificial. We all go and cut it down – at a local tree farm the weekend of Thanksgiving. (Although this year we opted for a ready-cut tree so we’d all be together to decorate it.)

We dig out the decorations and lights from storage, which is generally a bit of an ordeal, as the light testing usually reveals we need new ones. But once those sparkly bright colors encircle the tree, we all accent it with trinkets from our menagerie of ornaments. The collection commemorates births, pets, hobbies, vacations – us.


There aren’t any Christmas carols playing, or cider sipping, as I carefully remove the Lenox church I’m so fond of, or the miniature teacups and pots, or the adorable handmade keepsakes from my kids. But at least I’m warm inside my house as the wind howls outside. And let’s face it, even lousy weather and the drudgery of this task can’t make my holiday memories any less wonderful. ~Bailey

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