Just received this from Agnes who wanted to thank everyone for her party!  

Credit Google Images

I am still overwhelmed by my birthday party. It is beyond grasping that in this era we can send out to the world an invitation and the same day so many can attend!  No more Pony Express!

A huge thanks for my hostess big heart. She is quite a lady! I have been blessed with her in my life.  And now my blessings to all of you for my gifts of balloons, food, dancing goat (my feet are still hurting from all the dancing), and the laughter.

Credit Google Images

Credit Google Images

To my friend who asked if I was Polish. No, dear one, Austrian. Pierogie are a Pittsburgh thing….definitely an ethnic city. 

Credit Google Images

Credit Google Images

Once again a big thanks!!

ARC_0132525Now please have a glass of bubbly on me






Credit to Google Images

Credit to Google Images

Dear Blogosphere Friends,

I need your help!!

One of my “real world” friends is having a birthday TODAY and I have been stumped as to how I might celebrate this day with her while being over 400 miles away. Also creating issue with my celebration is the fact that she is turning 89 years old. I mean what do you buy someone who is 89? She’s already had a full life, married, raised a family, enjoys numerous grandchildren, has bought and sold homes, taken many trips, owned a shop, and generally has everything she needs.  Plus, she’s had 88 birthdays before this!!

I thought of sending a beautiful spring bouquet for her spring birthday. But I sent her flowers last year when she was in hospital and I hate to repeat myself. I did post her a nice card, but that still seems to fall short. Indeed, I have been quite stuck.


Wait, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself! Let me introduce you to my friend.

This is Agnes.


Agnes was a pivotal person after my relocation to Maryland. She was a member of the writing group I joined and subsequently became almost like family in the absence of my own. She took a huge interest in the writings I did for the group and later we began to pal around outside our meetings, talking on the phone, sharing e-mails, laughing our way through various appointments together, and having lunch and milkshakes in town. As I found out pretty quickly, Agnes also came from the Pittsburgh area and was well familiar with my neighbourhood sights and scenes. This cemented our bond even further. Agnes is feisty and fun! She’s also a gentle, thoughtful soul. Her “Pittsburgh Day” lunch when we made pierogies (a Pittsburgh favourite) in her kitchen and feasted on them on her sunporch had to be one of my best days on the Eastern Shore.

Last year, her family planned a huge surprise party for Agnes to which I was invited. I was so excited to see her absolute shock. I’ve never seen a more-deserving person surprised so well. I don’t think she stopped smiling for a week.

And then I moved up here.

And yet, Agnes, being the super cool person that she is, hasn’t let go. We still chat via e-mail and phone and have hopes (as soon as her new iPad is up and running) of Skype video calls to come. She keeps me entertained with her hilarious outlooks, shows interest in all the new things I’m seeing, and even kicks me into gear sometimes when I haven’t written for a while on here because she misses my posts.

Now you’re probably reading this and not remembering…Agnes is 89. How many 89 year olds do you know that can forward e-mails, use an iPad with complete dexterity, make their own calls to tech support, sign up to follow a person’s blog online, and even comment to me on some of your blogs that she’s visited from the comments that you leave on my posts?

She’s definitely an amazing girl and WOW can she write!   In one writing she did for our group with the topic of TRANQUILITY I think she really captured that feeling. Click on the blue link and check it out…. AGNES’ short writing I bet you were surprised, weren’t you? Not bad for an octogenarian, huh?

Actually, it’s probably not a surprise how amazing she is considering the year in which she was born. She shares her year of birth with Queen Elizabeth II, Marilyn Monroe, Miles Davis, David Attenborough, Mel Brooks, Tony Bennett, Chuck Berry, Hugh Hefner, Jerry Lewis, and Michael Bond (of the famous Paddington Bear books). Not a bad crew to come up with, huh?

In that year of 1926, there were also some big firsts. Winnie the Pooh was first published, the first transatlantic phone call was made, the first iconic, bright red phone boxes showed up in London, it was the first time a woman swam the English Channel, and Piccadilly Circus’ first traffic light was installed.

Just thinking about all the changes she’s seen in her life put me at a total loss as to what to do for her birthday. But then… I said before…..


Credit to Google Images

An online birthday party with greetings from across the globe!!!!

I mean it’s something she’s probably not had before, right?

And this is where you come in, dear Readers.

I’m asking all of you to sound off in the Comments here with birthday greetings for Agnes. Just for this party, I ask you all to be spokesmen/women for your country/county/state/province and wish her well from your part of the world. I think it will be most exciting for her to see the comments on here and see how many different people in such far-reaching parts will wish her well on her big day!

I mean think of the changes from 1926 to now!

Can you imagine how she will feel to have such a different sort of celebration? 

How often is it so easy to do a good deed and make someone’s day more special?

I’m so excited!!!

I’m really thinking we will bowl her over with our virtual party on here!!!   🙂  

Let’s get things started with a little cake, shall we?

Credit to Google Images

Credit to Google Images

And a few balloons just to get the festive atmosphere rolling……

Credit to Google Images

And yeah, I’m still going to give her a flower too….(just got this shot the other day and I think she’ll really like it).   

4And now I’ll leave the first wish…



As most of you know, we recently completed a relocation to a new area and ended up buying a new house right before winter hit.   The thing about buying a house going into winter over here is that winter lasts a LONG time….months and months actually. It was only a matter of days after we moved in to the house that the snow started coming down full stop.  It wasn’t so bad, though, because we were trying to get the house set up, painting, buying new things, etc.  Hence, we weren’t really even bothered by the snow at all.   But, it did mean that we really didn’t get to see the grounds for quite a while as it was buried under white stuff from almost the day we moved in.  I guess we really didn’t pay much attention to the details of the grounds as much as the house itself the few times we saw it before we bought it.   However….now that the snow has melted and we can actually walk through the wet and muddy grounds around here, we’ve discovered that we seem to have a garden! However, this supposed garden isn’t very aesthetically pleasing at this point.

Have a look –
1 (1) 1 (2) Definitely not an English garden, is it?   Aesthetics aside though, it seems someone was very into herbs before we got here as evidenced by all these tags I found in different spots in the garden….1 (4)

1 (7) 1 (6) 1 (5) 1 (3)

Neither my husband nor I have ever had a garden before. However, neither one of us is thrilled with how this looks right now, nor do we have any idea what to do with it to make it better. It goes without saying that those sorry-looking boards have to be done away with somehow.   And the garden itself?  No idea.  We’re not much into flowers, but instead prefer plants and trees. I’m not such a gourmet cook that I’m using fresh herbs in my cooking and about the only thing we’ve ever grown in the ground is a pumpkin (weird, I know)!  Also, neither one of us really has the time or inclination to do the whole ‘gardening’ thing.   His idea is just to rip the whole thing out and continue the lawns there. But I’m wondering if there aren’t other possibilities.

This is on the back of our property, hence, not really visible from the road or even the windows of our house. It’s very much an aside, I guess. But, I’d still like to come up with something interesting to do with this.  As we’ve got a few weeks before the lawns are dried enough to get out there and work on this, I am asking you, my creative friends here in the blogosphere, tell me what you would do with this space……Just rip it up and flatten it back into lawns? Keep the herbs though I’d never use them? Plant something different? Install a water feature? Enter an ugly garden contest?

Any ideas?


So, as I sit here and wait for spring to finally take us out of the snow and into some new and exciting colours, I find myself bitterly disappointed every day when I go looking for some big sign that spring is finally here.  I’m ready to photograph some bright bold colours.  I want new sights to see.  I’m ready and waiting for my first spring in my new area.

Instead….this is what I find – 1

Oh, it’s beautiful scenery, don’t get me wrong.   I’ll take those browns, golds, oranges, and greens any day of the week!   But… know, I’m just READY!    

My mood didn’t improve when I read Barbara’s post on here yesterday.   Barbara lives a bit south of us in the state of Virginia.  She’s already out having spring walks, gardening, and she’s posted some photos of spring flowers!   Drat! I wish this was me!

However, as I was reading Sylvia’s latest post and seeing how much snow she still has in her part of the north, I quickly rethought all those “Drats!” I had been muttering.   Don’t get me wrong, I love winter.   I love snow.   But I think part of loving winter and snow is that after you’ve had a proper, good, old-fashioned, storybook wintertime with lots of snow and icicles, you do tend to look forward to spring a bit more than if you didn’t have that snow in the first place.    

After reading Sylvia’s post, I began to be a bit more grateful for just the little signs I’m already seeing here through the rainy days we’re having…..We’ve had a whole week without snow! This is an amazing thing after six months of winter and snow on the ground.

And now….Small but mighty signs showing us that, being uncovered of snow, the earth is quietly waking up from its winter hibernation…..

2 (1)

1 (1)

2 (3) And slowing unfolding to share spring treasures….

1 (5)

1 (6)

Even above us…….buds abound! 1 (4)And everywhere, there is evidence that the majesty of spring is already unfurling!1 (2)This is MY spring so far and I’ll take it!

How far along is YOUR spring right now?