Monday, July 24, 2017

Music Moves Me - Numb

So many times in the past several years of Monday music blogging, I've had to do a tribute post.

This time, it was Chester Bennington, the 41 year old frontman of a group called Linkin Park.  Many music fans are numb.

Bennington had a hard life.  He was sexually abused when he was only seven years old, an abuse that went on for years.  As a teenager, he was bullied, and went deep into the drug scene, . He quit that, but for a while, abused alcohol.  He suffered from severe digestive issues, and from more recent physical injuries.

The cause of death was suicide, and it took place on what would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday.  When Chris went down this same road in May, I blogged about that and middle aged suicide.   Now, another tormented, talented man has taken that final road.

"Numb" is a song about parents with too high expectations that spoke to many of us (over 576 million views on You Tube).

"I'm tired of being what you want me to be......don't know what you are expecting of me...every step that I take is another mistake to you...I've become so numb..."
I love the words, the melody - just everything about it. But...

Why do we do this to the ones we love?

Come join this blog hop every Monday - here are the people responsible for it:
X mas Dolly is the Conductor of this trip, and the other Conductors are her fellow bloggers Callie of JAmerican Spice, ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥  and Cathy from Curious as a Cathy.  Today is a "free" day - but I would have blogged about this regardless.

Today is also day 24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Make Entertainment Great Again?

A short post today for a busy summer Sunday.

Last Tuesday, on a summer TV series called America's Got Talent, I saw this performance by a Presidential impersonator who promised to make the show Great Again.

I don't get into politics in this blog, but I wonder if this singer (who made it into the next round) might enable us to have a little fun.  I assure you, it is not mean spirited or political.  The audience loved it.  I think you may, too.

He certainly connected with the audience, and with a guest judge who said "This is a thing I didn't realize I needed in my life until now."

We really need a good laugh.  Will The Singing Trump provide it?

I don't watch muchTV, but America's Got Talent (a show I've never watched much of) has hooked me this summer.

Day 23 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Local Saturday - Go Back Jack and Blue It Again

Reporting on blueberry season has become a tradition on my blog.

Every year, my spouse and I try to go blueberry picking at least once each season, here in upstate New York. We have several U-Pick farms, and one gives us a 5% discount for our loyalty.  That is where we go.
This is what it looked like yesterday.

Blueberry and clouds.

Blueberry closeup.  Yes, we went back and blue'd it again.

And speaking of "blueing it again", here are some past blueberry posts for your entertainment.

Like Blueberry muffins? Here's a recipe for you. 

Angry Blueberry Birds.

Blueing It Again

But you know what?  Other than a good blueberry pie, my favorite way to eat blueberries is raw.  No sugar.  No cream.  Just blueberries. (If I had a bush and could eat off of it, that would be even better).

Do you like blueberries? Do you have a favorite way to prepare?

Day 22 for the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Friday, July 21, 2017

Skywatch Friday - Post Storm Sunset

It's been on and off rain here in upstate New York.   In connection with the storms, we've had some beautiful sunsets from time to time.

Consider these after-sunset pictures, after a torrential downpour on Monday.
I took these pictures from several slightly different vantage points.

Framed by trees.
What a beautiful pink.

Want to see more pictures like these?  Visit #SkywatchFriday, where bloggers from all over the world gather every Friday to share pictures of the sky.

Day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday Tree Love - Sassafras

Trees are important in our lives for so many reasons.  Not just for shade, not just for their beauty, or the wood they provide for our houses and fuel, or the fruit that grows on them.

Have you ever heard of the sassafras?

Here's one in Binghamton, New York.

The sassafras is a small tree or large shrub - use whichever term you prefer.  We had several on the property in Arkansas we lived on many years ago.  You can tell the tree by its distinctive leaves, some of which look like mittens and some have three "fingers"- and, if you dig up a root, it smells just like root beer (which, at least most times, is a non alcoholic drink with a distinctive taste).

That isn't by accident.  At one time, root beer came from an extract of sassafras, but one of the chemicals in the root, safrole, is known to be a carcinogen in animals.  In days past, many used to drink a spring tonic type tea made from the roots or bark.  

I love root beer.

Medicinal uses.  The flavoring (at one time) of root beer.  What is there not to like?

Join Parul of Happiness and Food and other bloggers from all over the world at #ThursdayTreeLove - simply post a picture of a tree and visit the other bloggers participating.

Day 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Falling Wednesday - Preserving Your Vision

Next to dementia and cancer, I sometimes think falling is the greatest health challenge we face.

Last week, the mother in law of someone I know fell twice.  The first time, just bruised.  The second time, a broken pelvis.  She is in her 90's.  Her future is uncertain.

Every one of us knows one or more persons whose lives changed forever due to falls.

For the next few Wednesdays, I will be republishing posts written in 2015 and 2016 on the topic of falling.  I hope you will find some value in them.

Please, if you haven't yet had a falling episode, read these posts anyway.  Someone you know may need this information.  Additionally, please feel free to share these posts on social media, if you find them helpful.

Much of this information comes from information I learned in a falls prevention class.  As my regular readers know, I have fallen several times in the past few years.  And I'm only in my 60's.

I am extremely nearsided, and I learned about the importance of vision at an early age. I've been wearing glasses since I was four.  Since the age of around eight, my non corrected vision has been in the realm of what the State of New York considers (if uncorrectable) legal blindness.  Fortunately (at least up to now), it has been correctable with glasses.

During one of the falls prevention classes, we were treated to a talk by Diane McMillan of AVRE in Binghamton, New York.  Diane is dual-certified as a low vision therapist and a vision rehab therapist, and personally suffers from a couple of disabling eye diseases.  So, not only can she talk the talk, she also knows, from personal experience, what "it is like". So:

What is AVRE?
"AVRE is a private, non-profit organization that serves people with sustained and severe vision loss. People of all ages, from infants to seniors, can and do benefit from our services. We offer a range of learning. living, and working options for people with sustained and severe vision loss."

There are many eye diseases that can affect vision. Anyone suffering from these conditions becomes more prone to falling.  In fact, a blogger I enjoy, Amy Bovaird , has blogged at length about her life with a vision disability, her adventures (if I can call them that) in falling and how her life has strengthened her faith.  Amy's blog is Christian faith-centered but there are other bloggers with vision impairments who blog from a more secular viewpoint.

It turns out that a couple of people in my class suffer from macular degeneration.  Diane explained it so well, complete with pictures taken that show the way people with macular degeneration will see a particular picture vs. people with healthy eyes, that I understand it better now.  Amy Bovaird's blog has a lot of information about macular degeneration.

We also learned about glaucoma.

Diane's message was a message of hope.  She taught us (noting I am not a medical professional, or vision professional, and you should have annual eye exams, always):

1.  Be self aware.  Test yourself monthly (it only takes a couple of minutes) with something called an Amsler Grid.  Diane told us that you have any problems (the website describes what you are looking for when you use the grid) consider this an emergency and contact an eye care professional immediately.  In general, if anything is amiss, err on the side of caution and report it to your eye care professional immediately.  Sometimes, a timely exam can be the difference between a good outcome, and the opposite.

2.  Have that annual eye exam!  I know an eye cancer survivor - it was detected by an annual eye exam.

3.  If you are diagnosed with an eye disease, all is not lost.  Some conditions can be treated.  Other conditions may not respond to treatment, but with proper training, and assistance, you can still lead a worthwhile life.  The two women in my class with macular degeneration were proof of that.

#3, especially, resonated with me, because I have always dreaded the day the eye doctor will say "we no longer have a prescription for you."  I can hope that day never comes.

But if it does come, I hope I will understand it is not the end, but rather, a new beginning.

Next week - how my falls prevention class journey began.

Day 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What's in a Name?

 How do they name flowers?

My spouse and I were out Saturday admiring the day lilies in Cutler Botanic Gardens in Binghamton, New York.  They are just a few steps away from the Regional Farmers Market and were at peak.

For years, the lilies have only had numbers on the identifying stakes, with no handy list.   This year, there's a list, and I finally know the names of some of these varieties.

I would love to know how these names are chosen.

What makes this a Tennessee Rose?

Or a Some Sweet Day (I have to get this one- stunning!)
Beasley.  I see this may actually be "Bubba Beasley" but "Beasley" is what the list said.

Mardi Gras Parade
Crazy Pierre (I wondered how long ago they came up with this name - turns out 1990 is the year of introduction). 

Peekaboo (yes, I see you!) which somehow got on its side.

The Band Played On
Rhythm and Blues.

Hybridizing day lilies is a hobby for some.  I don't know if I would have the patience.  I certainly don't have the room.

But if I created a new day lily, wouldn't it be fun to choose the name?

Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost