Friday Dance Party – Kiss Me Again

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

So it is now officially Summer and, to properly bring the new season in, temperatures have soared to 100 degrees.  Needless to say, we have not gone out of the office or house much other than to get the mail or get into one of our air-conditioned cars.  100 degrees is just way too hot!!  Every year, the promise of Summer always makes me think of the same few things.  So from the official start of Summer that occurred on June 20, to the official end of Summer on September 21, here’s what I’ll be concentrating on:

  1. Vacation plans –  I mean, it is a shame not to go someplace and enjoy the warm Summer weather.
  2. How white my legs are – like Foster Farms chicken pieces laid beneath clear plastic wrap in the grocery store, my legs are that same yellowish-white color.  It is embarrassing.  Why is it that I only notice them well into official shorts weather?
  3. Sunglasses – I don’t really wear sunglasses at all, except in Summer.  So the new season always puts me into a panic until I have located my stash of prescription and non-prescription sunglasses.  I’m always scared that I have lost them.
  4. Hamburgers and hot dogs – both of these foods become my favorite when Summer hits.  Nothing like them hot off the grill.
  5. Garden hoses and nozzles – Summer means plant watering and so it is time to drag all our watering equipment out of the shed and install them into spigots in the front and back of the house.
  6. Weight – how I wish I would have stuck to my beginning-of-year diet so that I would be all thin and buff this year when I remove my shirt and jump into the swimming pool.

I also think a lot about what Summer music I will be listening to in the car or around the pool and which of these songs will be the favorite hit of the Summer.  I already know my first Summer song choice for 2012.  It’s from ‘We Are The In Crowd”.  They are an American pop punk band from Poughkeepsie, New York, formed in 2009.  If you are like me, you are saying what is pop punk?  Pop punk is a music genre that combines elements of punk rock with pop music, to varying degrees.  The genre is a strand of alternative rock, which typically merges pop melodies with speedy punk tempos, chord changes and loud guitars.  Think Green Day.  Whatever it is, I’m a fan with ‘Kiss Me Again’.  It’s Summertime!!  Not only have we made it through another week, we’ve made it through another season.  Be happy and celebrate with some pop punk and, if you are really talented, bust out all of your old punk rock moves and astound your family and friends.  In other words, have fun dancing while you watch the horror on other people’s faces who are watching your hot dance moves.  Just don’t get too over-heated…remember, it’s 100 degrees outside.

First Casualty In The Garden…A Murder Mystery

It happens every year.  You plant your garden and know deep down inside of you that there will be some sort of problem that happens before you even harvest your first vegetable.  You get yourself ready for the disappointment.  You think about what will be the type of bug that wipes something out.  If it is not a bug, maybe some sort of critter.  You look at all of your plantings and try to figure out which one will be affected.  You vow to do your best to combat whatever it is that is hurting your garden.  Then it happens.  This year, I’m calling the problem “The Case Of The Murdered Cabbages”.  I swear to you that three hours after planting my cabbage plants, I returned to the garden to find the little plants munched down to almost nothing by some sort of villain.  The problem is that I just couldn’t figure out who the culprit was.

What would do this so quickly and thoroughly?  While I was digging some cabbages up and replacing them with new plants and trimming the little arms of others, it dawned on me.  It was a woodchuck.  Why you ask?  Well, the Notorious B. I. G. (Brooklyn Italian Grandmother) had mentioned that she saw a furry animal running around the back yard a couple of times during the week.  Since raccoons only come out at night, I just knew it was a woodchuck she had seen and the same critter ate my baby cabbages.  Remember, the fence around the back yard keeps the deer out, so my only logical solution had to be that a woodchuck had squeezed under the fence and ate my cabbages.  Always having a flair for the dramatic, I quickly put a two-step plan of action in motion.  First, I would put a small fence around my new raised beds.  Yes, it is a fence within a fence.  I quickly worked to build a small green plastic fence around my two new raised beds and then the new secured garden would have the deer fence around it as well for added protection.  Second, I would call a local hunter that I knew from the area and have him lay a couple of humane traps.  The traps would catch the critter and then we could transport it to a far away wooded area where it could eat dead leaves and weeds.  That’s what a woodchuck eats for dinner…not baby cabbage plants.  The fence was installed….the traps were laid……all was good in cabbage land.

Then it happened again!  Nearly a week later.  When I saw the little nibbled purple cabbage plants, I got weak in my knees.  How could this happen again?  After spending $200 on my make-shift fence and trapping a raccoon, a squirrel and some other type of critter that my friend told me I didn’t want to know about, the cabbage murderer was still stalking the premises.  I felt violated.  I felt angry.  I wanted revenge.

It was off to the nursery for some more cabbage plants.  I had run out of the ones that I grew from seeds under my grow light.  At the nursery, I told my murder mystery story to anyone who would listen.  One of the nursery employees told me that it sounded like a slug infestation.  Slugs?  Those little snail-like creatures without a shell?  Could they do this much damage?  Can they eat this much?  I left with some new cabbage plants and some Sluggo, an organic pellet that kills slugs dead.  I also put out two bowls filled with beer.  Slugs like their booze.  When they reach for the beer, they fall into the suds and then that’s it for them.  They drown, but drown drunk, which is probably the best way to go in my opinion.  So far the Sluggo and beer seem to be working.  My cabbages seem to be growing.

I’ll keep you posted.  Also, if you see the displaced raccoon, squirrel and the unnamed creature that I had transported to another wooded area, let them know I am sorry and I will pick them up and bring them back to Glen Road on Saturday afternoon.  As well, let me know if you have any ideas (other than a slug) on what is eating my cabbage.  Help me solve “The Case Of The Murdered Cabbages”.

Friday Dance Party – Alex Clare’s Too Close

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s graduation time everywhere I turn here in Connecticut.  When I was little, families only celebrated when you graduated from high school.  Today, we are going to parties to celebrate graduations from elementary school, junior high school and high school.  I guess the more parties the better, right?  While I like to go to a graduation party, I have always tried my hardest to get out of times where I was invited to go to the actual graduation ceremony.  I find them extremely boring…..really, so boring they are painful.  The truth be told, I find them so boring that I didn’t even attend my own college graduation.  I had the college send me my diploma and instead of going to my own ceremony, I enjoyed a long vacation in New York.  I think I don’t like the ceremony because of the speakers that are there to encourage the youth.  I have always cringed at the speakers that are chosen for graduation ceremonies.  What really can these speakers say to the young ones that is not cliché and something we’ve heard a thousand times.  Unless you can nab Obama or Oprah to speak at your graduation, you should just skip it in my opinion.

I say all this about graduation speakers and their weak speeches and then I kind of do the same thing this week.  Someone at work asked me what advice I would give to a young employee and I said without hesitation one of the oldest pieces of graduation advice ever given:  “never give up”.  Even though it’s true, it is a lame piece of advice.  I’ve been in the working world over 25 years and this is the best I can do?  I guess I understand why I’ve never given a graduation speech.  So my piece of advice, in all its wisdom, is why this week we are listening to Alex Clare’s song ‘Too Close’.  The actual song and the album it was on bombed when it was released in 2011.  Fast forward to now and have the song used on an Internet Explorer commercial and you come back with an instant hit.  Just goes to show you to “never give up” and you can have a hit with whatever it is that you do in life.  I’m a prophet!  So enjoy the song and dance while listening to it.  You made it through another week…you deserve it.

Friday Dance Party – Back Again

I just looked up the last time I posted something here on Acorns On Glen and I can’t believe that it has been close to three months ago.  A year ago, I was posting stories (sometimes almost daily) about my life here in Connecticut and now I am posting nothing.  From cooking and gardening stories to absolutely nothing.  I just haven’t felt like it.  I just haven’t had the energy.  You see, I lost my father on April 12.  You may remember that I briefly wrote about it during the holidays.  The days leading up to his leaving and all these days after have been some of the hardest of my 48 years.  I think I have learned a lot about myself during these days of despair.  I know that I have faith.  I have never really been a religious man.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always believed in a power bigger than me.  I think it’s God, but whatever you want to call it is fine by me.  But the belief that there is someone or something up there for me to talk to as well as someone or someplace up there for my father to go to has been very comforting to me over the last few months.

I have also discovered from the ‘most played’ feature on my iPad, that I have listened to the same group of songs over and over during the last few months.  Songs of inspiration, understanding, hope and faith.  The one I chose for today is the one that I listened to the most.  Sometimes it made me think about myself and sometimes it made me think of my father and his battle against cancer.  I’m just glad I found it.

I think my father left us in Spring so that there would be so much for us to do after he was gone.  We’d get on with our lives in a quick manner because there would be gardens to plant, yards to be mowed and flowers to watch bloom.  He wouldn’t want us to be sad for very long and he would want us to quickly get back to living our lives to the fullest without him, just like we did when he was here.  So guess what?  Like I’ve done for so many Fridays here on Acorns On Glen:

It is time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

Fun And Light Stalking In East Hampton

We were invited to spend the weekend with our good friends at their house in East Hampton, Long Island, New York. Our friends are part of a small percentage of people who actually spend the Summer and Winter at their home in the Hamptons. The Hamptons are mostly known as a Summer destination where people travel there to relax and enjoy the heat of the Summer in their home or at one of the many beaches that are on the Atlantic Ocean. Many people have never been to the Hamptons in the Winter, but it is actually a great time to go because there is no crowds and, better yet, no traffic in getting there.

From a history perspective, the Village of East Hampton is a village in the Town of East Hampton, New York. It is located in Suffolk County, on the South Fork of eastern Long Island. The population was 1,083 at the time of the United States 2010 Census. Founded in 1648 by English farmers, East Hampton remained a quiet farming community until the late 19th century, when it became a resort for the wealthy upper class. It became an artists colony in the mid-20th century, popularized by the Abstract Expressionists, most notably Jackson Pollack. Today, it has become a premier weekend destination during the Summer season.

Winter has another benefit in East Hampton as well. Besides no crowds and little traffic, finding your favorite star’s cottage is much easier as well. Yes, I admit that I enjoy finding famous people’s houses and staring at them from the car or from the road that runs in front of their places. Winter is the best time for a light stalking adventure because you can see through the vines and shrubs that are in front of the houses because they have lost their leaves.

My latest trip centered on finding a few homes of my favorite FOODIE people. Enjoy a few of the shots I took on my East Hampton adventure:

Come out, come out Martha Stewart. Here we are in front of Martha’s East Hampton home on Lily Pond Lane. The front yard was filled with burlap covering various shrubs, bushes and small trees for the Winter. The burlap is sort of her Winter trademark. Since I am a civilized stalker, I only go as far as the front gate! If you want to see what the inside looks like, visit here.

Are you there, Barefoot Contessa? Yes, here is a shot of Ina Garten’s East Hampton home. See how the hedge in Winter enables you to see right through?

Another shot of Ina’s home as the car creeps down the roadway.

Remember the season that Ina moved from filming in her home’s kitchen to a look-alike kitchen in her new studio? Here is a shot of the studio which is on the lot right next to her home.

Don’t think less of me because of my stalking. I like to think that it shows I have a high level of curiosity versus stalker-like tendencies. I can’t believe I am the first person to do this, so I feel secure in the knowledge that there are others out there who are like me and understand. Now I just have to figure out how to get one of them to invite me in for a little bite and some tea without getting arrested.

Friday Dance Party – Give Me All Your Luvin’ Madonna

Guess what?  It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

OK, who watched the Super Bowl?  Maybe it’s easier to ask who didn’t watch the Super Bowl?  Me, like most Americans, watched the game during a Super Bowl party surrounded by pigs in the blanket, sliders, pulled pork, chicken strips and nachos, to name a few of the things that were there to eat.  While I thought only the fourth quarter of the game was exciting and was happy that the New York Giants won, I thought it only right to give big props to Madonna who I thought put on quite a fun and lively half-time show.  Like her or not, you have to admit that at 53 years old, Madge still has it.  At 48, I can’t:

  • Run around and dance for 13 minutes,
  • Round up fifty gladiators to pull my throne and me around,
  • Stretch my leg straight and pull it above my head.  Even if I could, I would need an orthopedic doctor to be present to help re-attach my leg to my hip bone!, and,
  • Keep hip and understand who Nicki Minoj, LMFAO, CeLo Green and M.I.A. are and where they come from.

So I give Madonna an A for her half-time show.  Since it’s Friday, turn up your speakers and enjoy her two ways:  I put her new song at the beginning of my post and her actual Super Bowl performance here.

Pick your poison and dance.  You’ve made it through another week and you deserve to celebrate.  Just don’t let me catch you trying any moves from ‘Vogue’….I’ll have to laugh at you.

Oprah’s Words Of Wisdom To Roseanne (And Me)

I remember in 1998 when Roseanne announced on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that she was going to do a daily syndicated talk show to air during the daytime hours.  Oprah looked at her with a wry little smile on her face and then told Roseanne that doing a talk show sounds easy in theory, but come January and February, she would see how hard it is to try to think up bright and exciting show topics to air in the dead of Winter.  14 years later, Oprah’s words of wisdom are speaking to me here at Acorns On Glen.  You see, blogging is a great way to document your life and let people read about the interesting things you do in it, until you feel that you have become the saddest person in the world and there is not one thing that you do in the dead of Winter that would interest somebody.  During Spring, Summer and Fall, there was almost never a week/weekend that went by where I didn’t do four or five things that I thought would make an interesting post.  I was always cooking a new recipe, there was always news from my garden, nature was in full swing and doing things worthy of writing about and I was traveling to here and there and able to share my finds in the places that I had visited.  All that comes to a crashing halt when the dead of Winter takes over.  I mean, I have become the most boring person who has ever written a blog this last month and I don’t see much improvement going into February.  I mean, take a look at the possible titles I could have written about for events happening with or to me over this past weekend.  Would you want to read stories like these?

  • My Adventures With Bed Sores After A 12 Hour Sleep,
  • New Ways To Avoid Taking A Shower Until 6 PM,
  • What To Eat When You Have Absolutely No Food In The House,
  • Fun Things To Do While You Wait For The Quarterly Exterminator Visit,
  • How To Open Frozen Car Doors After You Take The Car To Be Washed,
  • How To Hire Young Teens To Pick Up Tree Limbs That Fall Into Your Yard After Strong Winds,
  • Shock After Realizing You Have Used The Brush On Your Clarisonic Toothbrush For Over Six Months,
  • Flushed With Excitement – “The Good Wife” Airs A New Episode,
  • Howard Hughes Has Nothing On These Toenails I’m Clipping Now,
  • Can a 3 1/2 Hour Sleep Really Be Termed A Nap?,
  • The DMV – New Ways To Meet Weird People!, or
  • The DMV – Their Technological Advances Since My Last Visit (NOT!)

I swear to God that each of these titles could have a story behind them in minutes, but I don’t think there would be too many hits.  There is a direct correlation –  the colder it gets, the sadder my life becomes.  I’m thinking March will be my turning point.  I will begin to go out into the world more and do interesting things once again.  Until then, if you see Oprah, can you tell her to call me with some ideas she used for topics during January and February?  I really need them.