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.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Art Treasures

I'm going back in time to repost blogs from my past.
This one appeared three years ago today.

I visited the National Gallery of Art East Wing last Friday, a Vantage House trip.  Look back one day to see the architecture of this building.  Today I will feature some of the art work.

This is from the early 20th Century by George Bellows.

Other scenes of American life in the early century.

Striking paintings of life more than 100 years ago.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Catching Up

I'm just home yesterday from two weeks in Buffalo providing child care for youngest granddaughter while daughter and son in law worked from home.  They have newly moved too so life has been super crazy for them.

My decision to go help came quickly on Monday June 8th in an afternoon phone call.  Got off the phone , packed, transplanted perennials that I had been babysitting since they moved north last July and Dan drove me to Buffalo.  We arrived just before 11 pm and Dan turned around and drove home arriving at 5:30 am.  Technically he should have had to quarantine but kept a low profile anyway. Sunday the 14th he drove back because he was bored, tired of the food, and I needed his help with entertaining an almost 3 year old. 

We had planned to visit there anyway for the Father's Day weekend so the trip was not unexpected just the timing of my going and the length of our stays. We also planned to celebrate birthday #3 with her so came prepared with presents.  Her July birthday will correspond to our move.

Watching 30 minutes PBS' Daniel Tiger was a daily occurrence.  She knows all the songs and sings them at appropriate times.

As I said we got back yesterday and now are in quarantine. All the posts I had scheduled will go on until our move.

Once settled I'm going to rename this blog and have a new look!  Stay tuned!

p.s. I'll still be reading your comments as they come in to email.  I'll try to visit your blogs too.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sharing a Poem

I'm going back in time to repost blogs from my past.  
This one appeared two years ago today.

A Name and a Rose

A name and a rose on the piano
It all comes down to this
It gives you pause to contemplate
On how much you can miss

In the days and moments between the time
You’re born and wind up here
And in the life remembered by
This plaque and flower bier

A name and a rose on the piano
Brings back memories
Of talk, laughter, meals and stories
Shared salubriously

So, remember and celebrate each life gone by
Not lugubriously  
But savor the moments together
In this life upon the sea

And don’t forget too soon 
We will all be on the list
A name and a rose on the piano
It all comes down to this

The author of this poem (not me) wishes to remain anonymous.

Here at Vantage House when someone dies their name is printed, framed and placed with a flower  on the piano.  Note there are two frames - when this photo was taken the second frame had just been added and the flowers appeared the next day.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Hillwood Gardens

Life is getting a bit crazy with things to attend to in preparation for our move to New Hampshire next month.  Before that move we travel to Buffalo to deliver some items to daughter Sarah and see their new house.  When we return we'll likely be in quarantine for two weeks and will use that time to do the serious packing and staging for the movers on July 14th.

So I'm going back in time to repost blogs from my past.  I'll still be reading your comments.
This one appeared one year ago today.

I wrote about my visit to Hillwood a couple of days ago.  Scroll down to see it.

The gardens there are lovely.  If we'd timed our visit right we may have seen the azaleas in bloom.  But they were gone.

Here is the Japanese Garden.

And here is the Russian garden house, a dacha (?).  This was the only spot where an azalea was blooming still.

Friday, June 5, 2020

At Random

Today is my oldest daughter's 39th birthday.  Happy birthday, Emily!

Lately I've been focused too much on the news - always ever hopeful for good news.  And there is good news out there.  The protests are making a difference and there are events in the streets that bring tears of joy: a 16 year old youth in Detroit who calmed the protesting crowd and brought the protest to a close at curfew time; a musician in Washington who got the crowd to hold up their iPhone flashlights and sing along to "Lean on Me" (hope I got that song title right); and members of police forces who take a knee, raise a fist, and/or engage in conversation in support of the protests.

Now for something totally different.

1) the perennials I have to dig up and transport to Buffalo in two weeks. Bleeding heart, heuchera, lily of the valley (hidden), iris, daly lilies and black eyed Susan.

2) Dan's cousin has a 50th wedding anniversary.  I made this card for them

3) Sunsets have been spectacular of late.  We will miss our exposure once we move, both from the 11th floor and looking in three directions.  We will be on the 2nd floor looking north in NH.

4) Saturday we went on a nice walk in Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area.  It was a gorgeous day.  This is the largest remaining serpentine ecosystem in the eastern United States.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Making a Difference ...

... one tiny step at a time.

Another petition to sign HERE. Color of Change is the organization recommended by Obama Foundation.  See other organizations to support HERE,

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear Marcia,
You recently joined 12 million people in the call for justice for George Floyd. Your signature adds another voice to the nationwide call for action in response to the horrific murder of an unarmed Black man. 
Then you did something incredible: you contributed your money to spread the petition even further. 
Here’s the deal:
+ You are driving real change in Minneapolis and around the country; uses your contribution to amplify the petition as widely as possible; and 
+ Kellen, the petition starter, is ready to take this petition to the next level, and you can help decide how.
How is this petition driving change?
Contributions like yours are part of the reason more than 12 million people have joined in – making it the biggest petition ever on
That’s why it has been featured in thousands of media storiesfrom Seventeen to USA Today and been endorsed by dozens of celebrities like Beyonce, Lil Nas X and Janelle Monae. Together with movements and activism around the country, that ramps up the pressure on DA Michael Freeman to charge all of George Floyd’s murderers.
And it’s working. Right now it looks likely that the DA may finally charge the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s death. Kellen, with your support, will keep the pressure up until those officers, and Michael Chauvin who was already charged, are held accountable.
How is using contributions to spread Kellen’s petition?
It’s pretty simple. People like you who sign petitions on Change.orgare always given the opportunity to promote petitions they care about, increasing the chance that they win. already emailed the petition to more than 40 million people, and has advertised it to more than a million people visiting our site every day.    
People like you keep contributing, so we’re taking it a step further to amplify the call for justice.  Your contributions are driving:
118 digital billboards like the one above. They’re all over Minneapolis where the DA, the Mayor and the police can’t ignore your voices, where George Floyd’s family and community can see your solidarity. And they’re in New York, where most national media is headquartered -- they won’t be able to miss them.
More than 100 additional billboards on top of taxis in New York City, calling on people to text in to sign the petition.
Ads all over social media to put the petition in front of people who care about racial justice, all across the country.
What’s next?
Victory is going to take more people adding their signatures. It might be the biggest petition ever on the site, but until those police officers are found guilty, it’s not enough.  
So we’ll put this petition in front of millions more people – both on our site and in creative ways – to inspire them to add their names too. 
Thank you for using to support the causes you care about.
P.S. is a public benefit company with a B Corp status. Our mission is to empower everyone to create the change they want to see, which is why we provide free petition tools to people around the world. Learn more about our vision by visiting our site, and read more about promoting petitions here

Supporting the Protests

There was a protest and vigil here in Columbia last night.  Though we didn't leave our apartment to participate because of Covid concerns we did watch from afar.

We saw more cars parked in the Columbia Mall lots than have been there for months. Actually no cars have been parked there in months.  

We saw the cars streaming in on Little Patuxent Parkway to join the march.

With binoculars we could see the marchers as they walked to the lakeside gathering point.  I wish we could have heard the speeches and the chanting and the singing.

This is a critical time in our nation's history. Are we going to let a wannabe dictator take control with his racism and idiocacy?  I don't think so.  His administration has revealed the cracks and faults in our society but rather than proposing solutions and working to heal, he has continued to fracture us more.  

Here are the words of a leader: President Obama -
The former president also noted that while protesting and civil disobedience puts a spotlight on racial injustice, "aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices" and emphasized the importance of electing the right officials at all levels of government.
"Yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a US Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it," he wrote. "But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels."
He added, "The bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn't between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform."
 The protests here in Columbia were peaceful.  It was all over by 8 pm.
Some photos I picked up off the news.

Addendum: Never thought I'd be directing anyone to read what George Bush had to say but if you haven't read his statement you must. HERE.