Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Foto Friday Plus

Another selection of photos from Barcelona all involve looking up!

This statue intrigued us and after some research we discovered it was a phoenix ridden by a boy.  It was the symbol of an insurance company.

This is one of the houses on the Block of Discord.  Looks like masks.

Sagrada Familia and below what's on top of those spires.

Above and below the old Hospital of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

I'm not recalling very well where this stained glass was from.

Old Roman wall in Terragona.

The balcony of the Palace of Music -  each column is different.

The funicular taking us to the top of Montserrat.  To get any higher required a hike.

And Dan looking up or maybe not on the wall overlooking the Mediterranean in Terragona.

Life is busy this week and next.  Daughter, Sarah and granddaughter are here until the 6th.  Sarah is commuting to DC for work and granddaughter is with us.  Since July when they moved to Buffalo Sarah has been telecommuting!  It's very fun to have granddaughter here, but when she naps I nap too!

Thankfully the playground is right next door.  That's our home Residences at Vantage Point in background.

There's another park across from that at a church.  The pond has. net to keep the leaves out this winter.

That was yesterday.  Today was a trip to story time at library.  I could put granddaughter in carseat but once at the library I couldn't push the button to release her.  My thumbs have no strength.  I asked a woman passing by to do it for me.  When we returned to Vantage Point I called Dan to the garage to do it.  Next time I'll try a tool before we leave.

Granddaughter brings joy wherever she goes here in this "old folks home"!

Monday, January 27, 2020

National Geographic Museum and Jane Goodall

Last Monday I went on a trip organized by Vantage House where we live to the National Geographic Museum.  

One of the two exhibits was on Jane Goodall, known for her stellar work with chimpanzees.

The introductory video as you enter featured these three screens.

 As we watched one of the chimps left the screen and sat on top!  We all laughed out loud.

Jane at an young age was entranced by animals.  This was a much loved chimpanzee.

Two of her favorite books.

She finally got to Africa by saving up her money and once there landed a secretarial job with the famous Louis Leakey.  He was the one who suggested she study the chimpanzees who lived near by.  She devised her own methods of observations.

He mother accompanied her to the camp they set up.  While Jane went to watch the chimps her mother offered medical services to the nearby villagers.

Just when Jane's funding was about to expire she observed a chimp using a stick to gather termites from inside a termite mound.  The chimpanzee had made a tool which was astounding to all who had studied animals up this time.  Jane got more funding and the rest is history.

The exhibit included a 3D movie that made you feel you were sitting in the jungle observing the chimps.  There were stations to learn how to vocalize like a chimp.  Lots to read and lots to look at.  A worthwhile trip.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Foto Friday

Oneida Lake north of Syracuse, NY. where we vacationed as a family last summer and will return to in August.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


I don't take many panoramic photos.  These three I took in Spain.

The Picasso Museum

Administration Building of St. Peter and St. Paul Hospital

On the street in Terragona.

Here's a video from on top of a tower in Terragona, Spain.  I hope it works.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Most Checked Out Books

Recently came across this article in Mental Floss:

New York Public Library's 10 Most Checked Out Books of All Times.

  1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats // 485,583
  1. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss // 469,650
  1. 1984 by George Orwell // 441,770
  1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak // 436,016
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee // 422,912
  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White // 337,948
  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury // 316,404
  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie // 284,524
  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling // 231,022
The library is celebrating their 125th anniversary and this compilation is the post popular books that have been checked out of their system.  When I first read the article I was not even thinking that children's books would dominate the list, but they do.

How many of these books have you read?  I must admit I haven't read Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451".  May just have to do that.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Foto Friday

 The  Photography group here at Vantage Point asked me to share photos of Barcelona in December.  I knew I couldn't show all the photos so focused on ones that had arches.

Here are a few from the Barcelona Cathedral.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Playground

Here in Columbia, MD a new park is being constructed next to the Whole Foods which occupies the former Rouse Building.  

After a tea break at Whole Foods one afternoon we watched the construction going on but had no idea what was being built.  Once we departed Whole Foods we went to take a closer look.

We were surprised to see the name of one of the centenarians here at Vantage Point, the retirement community where we live.  Millie will be 102 on her next birthday.

And we look forward to completion of the playground which looks really neat.

Monday, January 13, 2020

"Not Your B Flat Grilled Cheese"

Above is the exact quote from my husband when I served him one of these grilled cheese on Saturday evening.

The reason it's extraordinary is because besides sharp cheddar cheese, I smeared cream cheese with chives and onion on each slice of bread and included bacon between the cheese slices.

I agree with him.  Something about the cream cheese makes it really good.

I use Dave's whole grain bread.  Dan's plate has an extra quarter of a sandwich cut from mine.  He's bigger than me so I figure he should eat more.

Postscript:  I was telling my husband, Dan about this post and how I titled it.  His reaction: "No one will know what B flat means."  He said he got that expression for "ordinary" from someone who played in one of the armed forces bands.  B flat is the tuning note for bands thus just an ordinary note, nothing special.  Now you know if you didn't before.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Foto Friday

So when we were in Barcelona we learned that sorting your trash is important.  Our resource person, Edlira, told us she has 6 trash cans in her kitchen: paper, glass, plastic, compost, trash, and one other which now escapes me.

There are these huge trash cans on the street to put everything in.  The lid opens on the one below which I think was compost by stepping on the lever at the bottom.

Across the street were 5 other bins.  Every street has these.  We'd hear the different trucks come to collect from them, too.

Recycling is taken more seriously in Spain than here in Maryland.  We did our best to follow their example and recycle while we were there.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


We had snow yesterday from mid afternoon to evening.  The threat of it closed schools 3 hours early.  Side roads got covered by evening but not the main roads.  All the roads are clear this morning and the sun is shining.

Here's the view from the 11th floor where we live.

Looking west.

A zoom up on the lake.

Looking south.


From our other balcony looking northeast.