Sunday, April 29, 2012

Early Bird

The latest small detail to be tackled in improving things around here at Boston Manor has been a lighting issue. We were going to replace this hanging light over our  kitchen table with another, more convenient-to-turn-on-one.  

However, I had an idea as I walked around various lighting departments and stores totally frustrated with the choices.  Why not try a lamp in the area?  It's already fairly well lit by the overhead kitchen light and just needs enhancement.  So I've tried it out for several days and...

...have decided I like!
I may paint the lamp base and try new shade (I've had this lamp for years, but it has been under used), but so far I'm loving the new look.

And "Welcome May"? Yes, we are done with April. Ready for a new month which includes a visit from my brother, "The Wizard of Oz" - read about his adventurous life here if you'd likeMy Brother, The Wizard of Oz - click here, if you have the time to read about his adventurous life. , from Australia for a couple of weeks. We haven't seen him in almost nine years and we've all changed A LOT in that time.

Also, The Bostons are ready for their fearless leader, Mr. Tennis, to get his testing over with, and his strength back.  Then he can go out and hit some tennis balls while they lounge around the bed....

Handing out instructions to the humans they let sleep there.

To all you other Early Birds.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Random Thoughts Before Florida Weather Returns...

What a week (so far) of beautiful weather we have experienced.  Lows in the 50s, highs in the 70s, low humidity.  I actually had to put on a light sweater the last couple of nights.

Of course, I flung open the windows.....

....Bumby loves to sit and take in the breeze.

Sadie and her tongue took in the sun this morning to warm up.

I spotted the dove who comes by the bird bath every morning and evening and managed a quick, yet blurry,  picture.  Actually, I'm sitting outside as I put this post together and she alighted on the bath right to my left. No camera at hand!

Then it occurred to me....the egg.  
When she flew off she went into the tree above the ground where I found said egg.  It must have been a dove egg, not a cardinal.

She's watching me closely here from the wires.  Probably wondering if I will make good on my promise to keep that birdbath full.  I will Momma!

Bumby joined the Bostons in the backyard a bit this afternoon while they took in more sun.

And Panda did her "dead possum" act.

And Mr. Tennis got hopeful news at the doc today!  Another colonoscopy and a camera pill to double check for source of anemic state and he will know in which direction to head. This time next week we should know more.

Thanks to everyone for all your good thoughts and prayers.
  Right back at you as I know we ALL have "stuff" to deal with.  

May the week continue on in this positive fashion!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Egg

I was in the backyard this weekend and spotted this speck of white in the grass.

Closer inspection showed that it was a tiny bird's egg.  Not Rita the Wren's, I believe, because that nest was in the front part of the house.

A Cardinal egg, I'm hoping, as we have seen lots of red activity in our backyard the past week.

The egg made me pause and feel hopeful.  As springtime often does.  It's a time of renewal, fresh starts and faith. A time to re-invent yourself, if necessary. A time to take the plunge and get healthier and happier.  A time to hope for the best.

We have many friends and family members who are struggling right now with various issues and the last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride.  

To our family, some who are having serious trouble, we are thinking and praying for you all.

To our friends who are facing great challenges and uphill climbs, we are doing the same for you. 

Life has so many unexpected twists and turns, some good, some not good.

All I know is without family and friends those twists and turns are hard to navigate.

May your week be as beautiful and as filled with peace as these flowers are that I received today from a very special friend. (thanks CM)

(I know, TBL is being serious, but not to worry.  Mr. T is doing okay and we are
hopefully getting answers and results soon. He has valiantly been eating the high-in-iron stuff I've been putting before him (especially the steak, spinach and cantalope - thanks for that tip CG!). He is keeping activity level low - i.e. no tennis - much to his frustration.  But he still goes and watches his buddies play and then joins them for the traditional after match visit to a favorite local hangout. )

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hanging With the Stars...Or, How I Finally Made it to a Movie Premiere

Oh, I know, I know, you don't believe me,
but honestly last night I attended a "World Premiere" of a movie right here in Orlando at the Florida Film Festival. (See? It says it right down there in the right-hand corner - WORLD PREMIERE)

Why this movie you ask?
Well, first I am a movie hound and especially enjoy independent, small films, second, I have always wanted to go to a premiere, and third, my wonderful daughter-in-law, Sammy, cast the movie and  received onscreen credit!

Of course we had to go!

We had dinner first and speculated about what this movie, "Dead Dad" would be about.  The Maven and  I even thought we saw a couple of the actors milling about outside of the theater.  We had been looking at the movie poster and were pretty sure we spotted the two guys pictured on it.

"Dead Dad" is a very (stress very) small budget film.  During the Q & A  after the film, I heard $2,000 mentioned as their initial budget.  A lot of donated equipment, talent and time helps these low budget films get made and from what we heard, a lot of people were very generous with all of those things because they believed in this project.

There was even "swag"!
A keychain to keep as a memento of a very good film and Sammy's first credited project.

"Dead Dad" may have had a small budget, but the camera work, acting, editing and writing were big time good!  And yes, The Maven and I had spotted the lead actor (and writer of the screenplay) outside.  

Great chemistry between the three main characters, who are siblings dealing with the sudden death of their father.  Funny, sad, true to life, this is a film that will resonate with many people.

And how did Sammy do with the casting?
Sitting in the audience during Q and A session someone remarked on the great rapport between the three sibling characters and the main character's girlfriend.  The writer/lead actor cast himself and the actress who played his sister, a friend of his, but the third sibling was found guessed it, our very own Sammy!  As was the actress who played the girlfriend. 

Mr. Tennis, always the one to lead a charge, went down to congratulate those involved and we ended up talking with Kyle (the writer/actor).  He said so many nice things about our daughter-in-law and  said he appreciated us stopping by to give him feedback.

So, yes, I have had my "hollywood" experience now.
We hope "Dead Dad" may be released on a few more big screens, but at the very least, I'm certain it will eventually end up on Netflix in the "indie" section.  Check it out, if you'd like when it does.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

Way to go Sammy!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh, To Be Miss Darcy...

She's been visiting a couple of days this week and taking full advantage of the pleasant spring temperatures.  Learning to be outside like her Aunt Bumby without running away.

She leads quite the life when she is here at Boston Manor...

"I would NEVER be allowed to get away with this!"
-direct quote from Bumby

...and provides us with many funny views of her face.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, so what?"
-so say The Bostons and Bumby, who have formed an alliance.

We all know how we like to spoil the grandkids, er kitties...

I know.  I know! Crazy Boston Lady.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Here's To A Good Week Ahead!

Things are feeling more relaxed around Boston Manor now that Mr. Tennis has made a triumphant return.  The flowers are blooming a bit, The Bostons are surveying the grounds with renewed intent and the birds...

The birds! 
 With all the excitement around here last week I completely forgot to check up on Rita the Wren's kids.

We missed it! 
They have flown the coop.  Apparently my worried presence was not needed.

What an amazing architect and builder Miss Rita is.  I am always amazed by the construction of these nests.

Here's to a great week for everyone!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mr. T Doing Okay!

Just thought I'd do a quick update on Mr. Tennis while I have an internet signal! 

He is still in hospital for tests, but they are ruling out a lot of scary reasons for his condition, which is severe anemia.  He has had this in the past and we thought it was under control, but as we know, when you least expect it....

Tomorrow he will have his innards looked at and hopefully we will have answers.  Big one ruled out today when they did a heart cath. His heart, as I always knew, is a wonderful, healthy heart.

Thanks to everyone who has kept him in their thoughts.  He always reads my blog and the comments and I know it will make him feel good to know that people he doesn't even really "know", as some of you are, have such caring spirits.

And yes, he is ticked off that he is on a clear diet and that he will be missing his Saturday morning tennis match tomorrow.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life Turns On a Dime

We all know that.  This week we, as a family have experienced it over and over again.

The news looks good, but Mr. Tennis is in the hospital and needs some special vibes from  our friends in blogland.  

I don't usually go public with such things, but I know how the blogworld community and internet community can come together and fight for the people they "know" through this special outlet.

Our internet connection has been iffy this week, on top of everything else, but I will make sure to do an update by Saturday.

Mr. Tennis is in fighting mode and The Boston Lady and family are right there beside him pulling punches.

Thanks my friends.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Return of Rita the Wren

She's been elusive, yet flirty. Singing out every morning and scolding Bumby when she takes her morning sun in the backyard.

Where would she build her nest this year?  Last year we never could find it, but the year before Rita decided to be Earth-friendly and use our recycling bin.

If you'd like to see the posts from that year, please click here and here for when they took flight.

The first year we discovered Rita nesting, she had taken up residence in our Staghorn Fern, hence her name that year, Rita the Staghorn Wren.

This year Rita has decided to recycle again, using an old nest that's been on the post in our carport for several years now.

It was Mr. Tennis who made the guess that Rita had installed her young ones there,

and sure enough, when I stood on the ladder and pointed my camera this is what I found.

They've already hatched!  

It's always such a quick cycle that I feel lucky to have captured a small portion of it.

Now comes the worrisome part for me, when the fledglings start flying the nest.  

I don't like that they are in the carport, but every year they do this and somehow it always works out okay.

I wonder if Rita worries about them as much as I do?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flowers for Easter

Not mine, but too funny not to share...

No wonder we love flowers so much. They come to life in such a beautiful and magnificent way.  Take a look if you have time, of this time-lapse photography taken of various flowers over a period of five days.

Sent to me courtesy of my brother, Mr. Connor. Thanks Richard!

Happy Easter to all my good friends and family.

Again, not mine, but this is how Sadie would look in such a get-up.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reminders of Childhood

The attic and closet cleaning continue.  The crib that my children used as babies has been carefully stored in the attic for over 20 years, kept just in case, well, you know.  However, now there are new guidelines regarding crib safety and since it was out of compliance I thought we would donate it to Goodwill.  They wouldn't accept it!

So at the suggestion of the person at the Goodwill drop off I left it leaning against the outside wall in case someone who was in need, but not concerned with new guidelines could use it.  I drove by the next day and it was gone. 

Also up in the attic I found our old Fisher-Price toys.

I understand they are out of compliance as well, but I'm keeping them.

So many fun hours did these little structures, people and vehicles provide for The Writer and The Maven.

The farm was the first one I purchased.  It was on sale at a department store that was going out of business, The Writer was six months old.  I bought it and didn't bring it out until he was 2, the recommended age on the box.  (okay, I admit that when I first brought it home I DID take it out of the box and I played with it, THEN I put it away)

From there, the collection grew, some purchased, some handed down by other family members.

Now they are safely boxed away in plastic bins so one day.....

In the box with the Fisher-Price toys I found this backpack.

The Writer wore it to preschool, packed with precious books and sacred little boy things.  The Maven also wore it in her preschool years, as to her it was a symbol that she was a "big kid" just like her brother.

It is packed into the safety of the plastic bins now too.

Lastly, from The Maven's closet I pulled out "China" and put her in the rocking chair in the family room to give her "mom" a nostalgic surprise.

 China, so named because my father, during The Maven's youngest years, took many trips to.. you guessed it,  China. The Maven heard the word so much that she christened her doll with the name.

China wears a sleeper that was given to me at my baby shower for.... The Writer, not The Maven.

 Why?  Because the sonograms (2!) showed that I was having a girl.  I received many pink items at that shower.  Joke was on everyone, including the doctor when The Writer popped out.  I didn't even have a boy's name picked out!

Good thing I saved the sleeper and pink blankets!  Of course, I didn't believe them during the second pregnancy when they said I would be having a girl.  Mr. Tennis and I didn't tell anyone the sonogram results that time and had two names picked out just in case.

So, The Writer was almost Megan Rose and had The Maven been a boy, she would have been Michael.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

36 Hours Without Internet/Cable - Good or Bad?*

I never realized how dependent I was on, well both of them, but especially the cable.

Yes, I had my phone, but I couldn't watch "my" shows Tuesday night.  I consider that "my" night to catch up on such things as "Dancing with the Stars" (it's okay, I found out who was voted off!).  
It wasn't just TV stuff, it was my email, and I had another blog post planned.

To our cable/internet provider's credit, they overnighted the device to restore our connections.  I should add that it isn't just my petty TV schedule and blog that were affected, but Mr. Tennis' business connections were disrupted - certainly more important.
 I sound really selfish at this point.

So... what did I do with "my" time Tuesday night?

Hmmmm, I had a couple books downloaded on my Kindle.
 Of course, I also have "real" books at my disposal too!  I hardly suffered. 
 But Mr. T, who was playing tennis, lol, said to use his ipad.  It had connections through 3G, whatever that is, (yes I will now find out!) So I did.

I watched a French movie version of a novel I had read and I loved it!

I probably wouldn't have done that if I hadn't been "desperate". 
 An avid book reader is never "desperate" for entertainment, but I was surprised how out of sync I felt when all my "cyber comforts" were gone. My old self would have been mortified at my lack of imagination.

That being said, I did not turn to a regular, hands-on book, I started my next Kindle book download.  So, really I hardly had a total cyber-holiday

. Why did I feel so out of sync?

In retrospect,  I say, 36 hours without internet/cable is a good thing....but really, I had every technological convenience at my fingertips nonetheless. I think I have been inspired to take a holiday from it all at some point.

And yes, we were up and running tonight in time to watch my spring staple,
American Idol - Go Phillip Phillips!

Can't help it - I'm a fan. But even avid fans need to break away...

I think that time is coming....

*See that asterisk at the top?  That means I am totally aware of the shallowness of this post.
Does that mean my life is shallow?
Not necessarily, but I'm sure by many standards it may seem that way.
I truly realize that Mr. T needs the connection more than I.
He realizes that I "like" the connection and therefore hustled to make sure my needs were met. After 31 years, he knows what to do!

Thanks Mr. Tennis for hustling to get things up and running again for your "queen".