Aunt Katie’s 20th Birthday Bash

1This post will have a few more photos than usual…because I went to a 20th Birthday Bash for Aunt Katie’s Attic.  You don’t stay in business long these days unless you are exceptional and her vintage shop IS just that.  I’ve known Kate for many years and covered a lot of her functions…her birthday parties, flea markets, Girls Night Out and more.

A lot of the neat things you remember from your childhood can be found at Aunt Katie’s…and every time I go there she has freshened up displays, repainted walls…picked up new treasures.  So for now, I’ll just let you enjoy some of the fun and folks.  By the way, I was there early, and left just as the cars were lining up along Route 5 to get in!

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Kate and her birthday balloons

 

 

 

 

Chair massage was available.  It was awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

Kate and “Mr. Aunt Katie”

 

 

 

 

Some wonderful ladies who recognized me from the web page!

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of real cuties out for some shopping.

 

 

 

 

The movie stars came out also!

 

 

 

 

One of the “rooms”…something for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

Refreshments were also available.

 

 

 

 

Some kitchenware on display.  Some great old stuff here.

 

 

 

 

..right down to little dolls, and so much more.

 

 

 

As you can see, there was a LOT to see and experience.  Happy 20th and many more, Kate!  You’re the best.

Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day“Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir

John Muir is only one of the many environmentalist and naturalists that I have loved for a VERY long time.

Although these people wrote many years ago, their messages are timeless…and as we lose more in the way of natural areas they point out how important preserving our planet is.  Patterned for abundant life, Earth is a wonder, a miracle of existence.  Home to an enormous diversity of life forms it should be protected.  We have nothing as a Plan B.

Not wanting to get on a soapbox, nature contains everything we need for life (as long as we stop messing with it).  Air…water…sources of food and herbs for medicines.  Its plant life gives us wonderful natural aromatherapy.  The sound of waves crashing against the shore, a brook babbling or the wind in the trees can be a very relaxing thing.  We do have some wonderful things that technology has given us but so often, the simple things are the best.  And that same simplicity is lost in the cacophony of modern life.

A day dedicated to earth awareness is a great idea.  Started in 1970 (and I have, somewhere, a button for the first Earth Day) it is still celebrated 45 years later.  If just one person hears the message and learns more about this planet, our home, it’s worth it.  It can’t be replaced and hopefully we will listen to the lessons and accept the gifts they offer to help us better our lives and the lives of those to come.

Margaret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  So why not start today?

The change begins with us.

Rite of Spring

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“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”  ~Rabindranath Tagore

Every year in mid-April a friend of mine and I have a custom…a trip to a butterfly conservatory to celebrate my birthday AND spring.  The one we usually go to at that

particular time was closed so we opted for the larger one we usually visit in winter (but didn’t as I was laid up with those pesky injuries.)  To be surrounded by literally a couple of thousand bits of flying beauty is like walking into another world.  And indeed it is. These delicate creatures don’t live very long, some only days and some only weeks but in that time, they live.

11The wonderful thing about these conservatories is that you can see varieties you will never see in your garden (most likely)  We have the (diminishing) Monarchs and Swallowtails, Skippers and such but at Magic Wings you see specimens like this Glass Wing, and many other  colorful beauties.  Fluttering amid the flowers that were in profuse bloom we took picture after picture.  No matter that we have hundreds of photos from past trips, each one is different…perhaps just a bit of a different angle…better light.  Like sunsets and sunrises, photographers can never have too many photos of something beautiful.  Never.

5Also, these little butterflies teach us that life is fleeting.  That we might get a little tattered at times but it’s always worth living.  Focus on the positive…the good…and fly above the  negative energy that threatens to pull you down.

Take some time to pursue a little beauty in YOUR life today.

It’s About Time!

crossings sunsetsmallThe past couple of days, Spring has made a bit of headway around these parts.

Winter, as usual, was quite reluctant to give up its icy grip but finally some warmer days have melted just about all of the snow (with the exception of snowbank remains in shady areas).  The grass is beginning to show some green, and the waters are open once again, to the delight of the local waterfowl. Ducks, geese, gulls, herons…all wildlife has returned and the scouting for nest location has begun.  It is a wonderful time of the year.mallard3

One of my favorite things is to sit in the car alongside one of the local ponds or lakes and watch the ducks and geese come soaring in… skipping across the water like a flat stone and settling in for a paddle.  Some scolding and territorial fights arise and it can get pretty active.

I can imagine that the water feels good…clearing off dust and mites.  I have to admit on the cold and windy days I sit and shiver and they splash around like they are in a hot tub.  You have to admire exuberance like that.

In the same way, I stretch my mental wings, wash off the dullness of winter and get down to the business of living, loving, BEING in the present moment. For here is the secret of happiness..right before my eyes.  Shaking off troubles, embracing the newness of another season, finding the lesson in the observing.

Simplicity.  Pure simplicity.

Birds, Wild and Tame

canaryA couple of times, I have mentioned the wonderful sound of the birds singing and how you can hear it once again in the early morning hours.

Even watching them swooping through the yard to the feeders, drinking or taking a bath in the bird bath, lined up on the edge of the garage roof or arguing within the branches of the shrubs brings a smile to my face and can cheer up even the dreariest day.

I think also of some of the “pet” birds we had years ago.  The canaries that would sing so sweetly or the parakeets that would squawk from their perches.  One friend had a parakeet that would spend time out of the cage and sit on her shoulder trying to steal her Cheerios.  Or sit on the curtains and scold all comers. My mother would put on a canary “training record” to encourage or teach the bright little birds to sing.  And sing they did! Another friend had little finches – lovebirds – that didn’t do too much that I remember but they were lovely birds.  I often wonder though, if captivity is kind to them.   Dogs and cats can become very comfortable in the role of “domesticated” but do birds miss flying free?

Just some of the random thoughts going through my mind today.

Happy Easter!

easter“Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time.” ~Martin Luther

It’s Easter.  Although it’s kind of chilly and windy for Easter dresses and bonnets, the snow is just about gone.  I was thinking this morning how, in about 3 weeks or so, the leaves will be coming out and the grass will be green once again.  After a long, snowy, cold winter everyone in the great northeast is more than ready for…Spring!

And how appropriate that Easter is celebrated in this season of new life and rebirth.  In plants as well as in our hearts.  Actually, each day is a “little Spring” in that we have a fresh slate to make the most of what we have.  One thing that we all share in equal abundance is Spirit.  There are always difficult times in life, just as there are storms to contend with in nature.  Harsh times can crop up in both winter and the other seasons…and they can pop up at any time in our lives.

Having been confined most of the winter recovering from injuries sustained in January, I had a LOT of time to reflect.  And in this healing time, I am amazed at the capacity for humans to heal even as we get older.  Of course, like anything else in nature, our time here is limited but what we can accomplish in many diverse forms can be almost unlimited.  Everything is reborn right now.  We have new chances, right now. Maybe not exactly the way we would prefer, but growth nonetheless.

Begin to live again.  Right now.