Friday Dance Party – Being Set “Free” With Graffiti6

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party here 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.

I’ve been set free several times this week.  I just haven’t been in the groove much at all this week.  It all started when I realized that last weekend was Labor Day weekend.  For some reason, I thought it was this coming weekend.  How do I totally miss a holiday weekend?  When someone at work mentioned the long weekend ahead, I thought they were joking.  Then I began to think about what I would have felt like if I had come into the office on the actual Labor Day Monday and no one would have been there.  That would have really set me free.

At the beginning of this week, it hit me that Summer was drawing to a close.  Another feeling of being set free.  Where did Summer go?  It seems like a couple of weeks ago that I went home for a visit over Memorial Day.  Like a few days ago that we left to spend the Fourth of July in Las Vegas.  Are you telling me that it is time to officially not wear white, harvest the remainder of the vegetables from the garden, winterize the swimming pool in the backyard and, the worst part, begin to locate all of the winter snow shovels so I can put them inside the garage in anticipation of our first snow storm.  Am I really beginning to think about snow?

I also thought this week was close week.  Close week is the time every 28 days that my company closes their books and sees how much money they made or didn’t make.  When my company exceeds their profit forecast, it is chalked up to excellent execution.  When they don’t make their profit forecast, it’s the accountants fault.  Those damn accountants…they must have made ANOTHER mistake.  Needless to say, close week is fairly stressful and I got all crazed and fired up for it a week too early.  Close week is next week.  Wasting all this energy on something that didn’t happen really set me free.

And now this weekend I’m being set free on the Jersey Shore.  We’re off to Asbury Park…home of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.  Actually, I’d be just as happy to get a glimpse of Snooki or The Situation.  I would set my family and friends free as they watch me take off my shirt, do a little dancing with some fist pumps and then leave with my new friends (drunk, of course) and go do some GTL.  I can only hope!

So with a week’s worth of being set free, it’s time to give thanks for making it through.  We did it again!  So let’s dance this week and be set “Free” from Graffiti6, a London-formed duo that began in 2009.  Let’s give thanks for all that we have and all that we’ve done to close out another week.  By chance, if you see me on the MTV channel with my Jersey Shore friends, let me tell you in advance that I am so sorry for setting you free.  I know the feeling!

Friday Dance Party – Where Have You Been?

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party here 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.

If my calculations are correct, I am just finishing up my eighth Summer here on Glen Road.  It’s crazy how time flies!  Over the course of all these years, I’ve done and seen so many things on our property.  I’ve worked to landscape our huge yard (both in the front and in the back), built several raised beds to grow vegetables in, planted fruit trees and, as you well know, I’ve witnessed a lot of wildlife that either lives or visits our property.  Some of these critter interactions are bad ones (woodchuck, I’m talking about you!), but the majority of them are really quite pleasant.  The one that is absolutely my favorite is to watch and listen to all the different birds that fly through on a daily basis.  I’ve seen cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, goldfinches and lots of other unique varieties.  Some that I can’t even name.  I think I’ve seen most of what Connecticut has to offer in the bird arena…..except one and it is my favorite.  The bird that never seems to visit my yard is the smallest of them all and that is a hummingbird.  I was never sure why I had never seen one.  In fact, there were many times I would discuss this with my Dad (another bird lover).  He didn’t know why either.  He said I had sufficient red flowers everywhere, lots of Spring/Summer/Fall bloomers, enough forest for them to nest in and I even had a hummingbird feeder.  It was a true mystery.

Well, I’m happy to tell all of you that on Sunday of last week, I was taking a little break from an intense day of gardening.  It was what I call a quiet moment.  One where you sit down (or sometimes lay down) right where you are gardening and you just lay still and listen to Nature.  You listen to the wind, you watch the birds, you listen to the birds singing.  Basically, you just sit there and appreciate life.  Meditation for gardeners.  As I laid there last Sunday, something wonderful happened.  I saw two hummingbirds fly to a butterfly bush and begin to feed off the blooms.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  So small and so quick.  They eventually made a couple of sounds to each other and then sat on a low-hanging branch at the beginning of the woods.  As they flew away, I slowly picked myself up off the ground and started to walk back to the house.  On my way, I ran into another hummingbird enjoying my zinnia patch.  This might sound weird to many of you, but my eyes filled with tears at the sight of this third bird.  Yes, I had finally seen some beautiful hummingbirds in my garden, but more than that, I am sure I was witnessing some divine intervention or, better said, what I believe to be some Dad intervention all the way from Heaven.

So this week’s song is dedicated to the three hummingbirds that finally visited.  It’s Rihanna’s big Summer hit “Where Have You Been”.  It’s another week down and, for most of us, a three-day weekend.  Happy Labor Day!  Turn the speakers up and celebrate life and say goodbye to Summer.  Hasn’t it gone by so quickly?  Dance to celebrate that we’ve made it through another week and, better yet, another season.  As well, know that I’ll be out in my yard this weekend asking those three hummingbirds…..”Where Have You Been?”  Do you think they’ll answer?

I’m Not Proud Of What I Wear In The Garden

I don’t really think about what I’m wearing when I’m in my garden.  I want to be in clothes that are comfortable, but other than that, I don’t really care what I look like nor do I have any other requirements.  My clothes don’t need to match (and usually they don’t), they don’t need to be designer (I mean, I’m rolling around in dirt) and the more holes in the cloth, the better (I think of the holes as added air conditioning).  There are a few things I always wear or have with me–my plastic gardening clogs, my wide-brim hat with its SPF of 50, light-weight gardening gloves and I always have my foam cushion handy for my knees when I’m down on all fours digging or planting.

Yesterday was no exception.  I had on my wide-brim hat, a purple t-shirt, my blue gardening gloves, charcoal sweat pant cutoffs (to accentuate my pale white legs), dress socks and my gardening clogs.  What was different was that I had a friend stop by who walked into the back yard and surprised me.  He looked at me with a horrified, yet amused, look on his face and told me that I was some gardener.  I said thank you as I took off my hat and ran my hand through my thick and sweaty hair that was sticking four inches up into the air.  You know the look….the one that looked like you curled your hair with dynamite sticks.  This was not one of my more handsomer days.

After my friend left, I got to thinking that most gardening blogs that I read never really show the actual gardener in all of his or her glory, unless the picture is a staged one taken by a photographer.  You don’t really see what the gardener looks like or what the gardener is wearing in the many posts that are out there from our vast gardening community.  Do we not show ourselves very much because, like me, we tend to look a little on the crazy side?  Or perhaps, unlike me, most gardeners look great and wear nice polo shirts, jeans and comb their hair before spending the day out in the garden?  So my fellow gardeners, it is time to confess…..what do you look like when you have a long day of gardening ahead of you?

Friday Dance Party – Missing The Olympics But Liking Ed Sheeran

Guess what?  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.

I really can’t say that I watch much television.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against TV or those that watch hours and hours of it each week.  It’s just that when I start watching TV, I start thinking of a thousand other things I should be doing and that just ruins it for me.  That all changed when the London Summer Olympics came on every night for a little over two weeks.  I felt that I was literally glued to the TV.  I was into TV once again.  I liked sports.  I could talk to my friends about sports and know who they were talking about.  Who knew the Olympics could do this to me?  Each night there was new television filled with moments of nail-biting suspense, stories about incredible athletes who worked so hard and were so dedicated, times you felt so proud to be an American and times where you couldn’t hold back your emotions.  There were many times when my eyes filled up with tears watching moments like Gabby Douglas win her gold in women’s gymnastics, Clarissa Shields amazing story about her journey that culminated in her winning the gold in the first-ever women’s boxing event and to watch Michael Phelps make Olympic history by winning the most medals of any athlete in Olympic history.  My list can go on and on.  This is what I call “must see TV”.  Then, in a flash, it was all over.  No more evenings spent watching great competition.  No more emotional moments listening to the Star Spangled Banner.  Yes, it was over and I miss it.  I’m lonely.  I feel a little empty the last few evenings.  Here’s to Brazil in 2016.  It can’t come soon enough.

During the closing ceremonies, a singer by the name of Ed Sheeran sang.  He was the singer who sang Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”.  There was something in his voice that moved me.  I jotted his name down to do some research on him and listen to some of his own music.  I’m glad I did.  He has a great voice and writes some remarkable lyrics…..almost haunting in a way.  While not the sunniest of tunes, here is his current hit “The A Team”.  It’s our song to dance to this week.  Take a listen and move to the music.  We’ve made it through another week.  Let’s give thanks for that.  I think we all deserve a gold medal for winning in the game of life!

Garden Wives’ Tale Or Fact?

I’ve always believed that getting the best results out of gardening starts with simply listening to all the advice that exists out there and then just doing what feels natural.  You do what feels right in the pit of your stomach.  Sometimes this feeling makes you do things that no one has told you to do and might seem a little crazy to the ordinary man, but you decide to do them anyway.  Most of the time, following your gut helps yield successful results.  It makes you feel that you know best about what works in your garden.  You are one with the soil.  When doing something out of the ordinary gets you great results, you begin to share your ideas with others and you hope that they will follow what you are telling them.  Sometimes you feel like a scientist when doling out your advice and sometimes you feel like a quack.  I realized that there really aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules out there for gardeners, but there is loads of advice.  This weekend I started to think about all the gardening advice I have received over the years and then I started to wonder how much of this advice was simply old wives’ tales that I have been told time and time again and how much of the advice that I follow was based on fact?

Most of the wives’ tales I know about the garden came from my Grandma.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those old gardening tips that are sort of urban legend, like a proverb, and are generally passed down by an older generation to a younger generation.  Such “tales” usually consist of superstition, folklore or unverified claims with exaggerated and/or untrue details.  I can think of two things that I was always told to do in the garden by my Grandma that I’m not sure helps or not.  Garden wives’ tale or not, that is the question!

The first is to always remove all “suckers” from your tomato plants because all of the plant’s energy will go to the “sucker” and not to the growing fruit.  A “sucker” is the little stem that grows out from between two healthier stems.  Think of it as a little stem that is growing from the middle of stems that are in a “V” formation.  I think this makes sense and I do it all the time.  Too many branches on the tomato would require more energy to keep the branches alive and growing.  By simply pinching the “suckers” off, less energy is utilized for stem production and this energy instead goes into the making of a tomato that is bigger, sweeter and juicier than if you didn’t attend to those little “suckers”.  So in my garden, you will always see perfect “V” formation tomato stems.  Also, think back to the old days when I’d be in the tomato patch with my Grandma and she was screaming out “SUCKERS” for all to hear!
WIVES’ TALE OR FACT:          FACT–in my humble opinion

My Grandma’s next rule had to do with toads in the garden.  Finding a toad in your garden was one of the luckiest things she could imagine.  I agree in concept that toads eat bugs and so having a toad or two in the garden is helpful in keeping the bug population down.  However, my Grandma said if you ever removed a toad from your garden, your garden would suffer from blight.  To her, toads were like her garden soldiers.  Toads were good luck and you didn’t want to curse yourself by removing one and making it angry.  For whatever reason, my garden is a toad haven.  Even though I don’t really believe the curse warning, I never remove one.  Why take such a risk?  I have enough problems in the garden with woodchucks and all of that.  Why would I deliberately try to anger my toads and make them whip up a nasty curse?

WIVES’ TALE OR FACT:          TALE

So suckers and toads are a couple of the wives’ tales/facts I remember related to the garden.  Sure there were others I remember not pertaining to the garden (i.e., Never sleep with the curtains open when the moon is full.  If a moon beam hits you, you turn crazy.), but that’s another post.  Are there other garden wives’ tales out there or any hard and fast facts that we should all adopt in our routines?  If you have one, leave a comment and let me know what it is.  This Summer, I’m needing all the help I can get when it comes to gardening.

Friday Dance Party – Me, A Prima Donna?

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party here 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.

“You’re a prima donna.”  I looked at my co-worker with a look of surprise and disgust on my face.  This is not the first time I have ever heard this in my life after I have responded that I am not going to do something and, let’s be honest, I always wonder if you can even call a man a prima donna.  My surprise (and disgust) is always based on the fact that I don’t think I am too spoiled in any way.  It’s just that I am fairly certain of what I want to do in my life and what I don’t want to do and I am not afraid to express my thoughts, even if my thoughts are unpopular.  I’m ok with saying “no”.  So let’s back up.  I got into this predicament because a group of people who I work with asked me if I would go with a large group of employees on a route ride.  In its simplest definition, a route ride is where you ride around with a delivery person in their big truck and deliver product to customers all day.  Doing this helps you understand the company’s business better, or so they say.  Let me clarify even further….you drive around in a big truck delivering product and:

  • You start around 5:30 AM,
  • You end your day at around 6:30 – 7:00 PM,
  • You are asked to dress similar to the polyester uniforms my company makes the drivers wear,
  • The product you deliver is heavy and bulky,
  • You sweat a lot and get very, very dirty,
  • The temperature is 90+ degrees,
  • It is humid, and
  • I am sure the cab on the truck is not air-conditioned.

I could go on further, but I think you get the picture.  So let me ask you, “Would you do it?”  Why is someone who says “no” to things in their life viewed as difficult, bitchy, grouchy or a prima donna?  Why wouldn’t they be called confident, self-aware, in touch or assured?  It’s not like I’m saying I wouldn’t donate blood to a sick child.  I’m just saying no to a ride in a delivery truck.  Do you think that knowing what you want in today’s world is taken as a blessing or as a curse?  Why is saying what you really feel taken as a negative thing versus a positive one?  Is it really being a prima donna or is it just being true to yourself?  Enough ranting…. let’s start dancing.  We’ve made it through another week and it’s time for us to give thanks.  The song this week is ‘Primadonna’ by Marina and the Diamonds.  Can the song be any more appropriate?  Celebrate life and get to dancing.  Start now…..I mean it…..shake it….remember, I’m a prima donna and I always get what I want!

Friday Dance Party – Fine By Me

It’s time for Friday Dance Party here 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.

There is a certain mood I get into when I know it is time to go on vacation if only for a day or two.  The good news is that I know how to identify it and, weirdly enough, it usually strikes in early August.  So guess what:  I am pretty sure I’m about 80% into that mood at the present time.  You see, I can tell it is happening because I get to this point where I don’t really care about anything.  Take for instance, yesterday at work.  We had a two-hour meeting where we were told to speak freely and openly.  Only you know how your group works and so we want to hear your honest opinions.  The only thing was that this wasn’t what they wanted…they had already made up their minds and nothing my colleagues and I were going to say was going to make them change their minds.  If I was in a better mood, I would have tried harder to get my point across.  I would have worked to make them feel that we knew what they were up to and we had differences of opinion.  However, since I’m in my “I need a vacation” mood, I just sat there and thought whatever they said was fine by me.  I’d shake my head up and down, mutter “Good point!” every so often and followed up to their questions with “I agree” or “Fine by me”.  After the meeting, I tried to count up how many passive answers I gave them and realized I had to say “Fine by me” at least ten times.  I need an attitude adjustment!  I need a few days off from my life!  However, my answer did have one good outcome.  It reminded me of this week’s song by Andy Grammer.  Guess what it is titled?  Yep, ‘Fine By Me’.  Some weeks are harder to get through than others, but we did it again.  We finished the journey.  Give thanks for that and dance a little to celebrate.  If you see yourself dancing past some airline ticket counter, make sure and stop and buy me a ticket to some place exotic.  I need to get away!!