Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Grand Celebration

We're not sure where this metal art was on street exhibit, but, grandkids Ellie and Bobby certainly looked smaller by comparison. These photos came in celebration of  National Grandparents Day, which was marked earlier this month.

Since we had forgotten the date, I decided to learn more about this largely U.S. celebration. However, Grandparents Day is recognized in other countries on various days of the year, either as one holiday or sometimes as a separate Grandmother's and/or Grandfather's Day.

National Grandparents Day (NGD) has several origins in the U.S. and most often is attributed to the efforts of Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade of West Virginia. Throughout the 1970s, she worked to educate people about the contributions of seniors and urged people to adopt a grandparent, not only for a day or for gift-giving, but for a lifetime of experience. As a child, McQuade had visited her grandmother's 130-acre WV farm and recalled how she  would walk to visit elderly in the area after a day's work. NGD was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 and it was first observed on Sunday, Sept 9, 1979, the first Sunday in Sept after Labor Day.

What's a holiday without a flower or even a song — NGD has both.

The official National Grandparents Day flower is oddly the “forget-me-not” flower which blooms not in late summer, but in the spring. There's also an official song: A Song for Grandma and Grandpa by Johnny Prill, also a grandparent. Prill volunteered at a nursing home where his grandmother resided. (Yes, there's an official website where you can hear it performed, but I've mercifully left out that link. If you go there, you will thank me for this omission.)
Just so you, and we, will know — in 2015, Grandparents Day  will be celebrated on Sunday, Sept 13. The date changes yearly as it is tied to Labor Day, but it's never earlier than Sept 7 or later than Sept 13.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

As They Were . . .

Remembering the  World Trade Center twin towers before events of September 11, 2001 

Burned images of horror, death and destruction forever in our memories.

We take time today to remember office workers, firefighters, rescue personnel — all those who died in these senseless attacks.

(Comments are off. We know a nation and worldwide mourn this day of remembrance.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birthday Time

Happy Birthday Mom ! 

Dorothy's Mom is celebrating birthday #92 in New Jersey today. These photos were taken during a visit to her home in July. (No Photoshop touch-ups were done to these images.)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rainy Monday

Rainy Days and Mondays is the title of the 1971 song by The Carpenters. But, unlike in the song lyrics, today was not a day for being down or frowningInstead, it was perfect for getting out between rain storms and taking photos in the Frog & PenguINN yard.

Water drops on plants in the front yard were good to practice macro shots.

Adding special effects to patio flowers in Picasa was fun afterwards.

There are still a few colorful blooms throughout the yard which made for colorful subjects. The overcast skies provided a soft backdrop as well. 

That's not all, rainy days are good GREAT for napping and reading, both of which Grenville and myself did today. This week's weather forecast is for a few more similar days here. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Funnies

During a recent hotel stay, we had this electrifying view outside our window.  

It sure gave us a jolt !

Wishing everyone a high-voltage weekend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sale, Stuff, Steak

The title really doesn't go with anything, just describes our Labor Day weekend events. 

We hope that your holiday weekend was a good one with last minute summer time fun as well. Ours was busy with a yard sale on Friday & Saturday. Good news is that we got rid of LOTS of stuff and made some ca$h; bad news is that we still have more stuff to go . . . SO we're having another sale in early Oct (in case you plan to come).

After clearing up and putting away for the next sale, we took time on Sunday to lunch with friends (Mary & Dennis) and to visit friends, Marty & Robert. Also, it was a good way to rid ourselves of more stuff by sharing with others. After all, what are friends for?

Monday's holiday was another day of recovery and first of the month bill payments. Here's an easy marinade for the London broil we had for dinner. While we're not beef eaters, we usually buy this cut of meat at least once every summer.

Marinade for London Broil

Start with a 2-to-2 1/2 lb. cut of London broil. Then assemble the following ingredients to make a marinade.

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • TBSPs balsamic vinegar
  • TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • tsp dried basil, crumbled
  • tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 C olive oil

  1. Whisk marinade ingredients together in bowl until combined well.
  2. Put London broil in large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over it. Seal bag, press out excess air, and set in shallow dish. Refrigerate and marinate meat several hours or overnight, turning bag once or twice.
  3. Discard marinade. Place meat on oiled rack set about 4 inches over grill; turning once, cook 9 to 10 minutes each side, until it reaches 135°F - 140°F on a meat thermometer for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively, meat can be broiled.) 
  4. Transfer London broil to cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve and enjoy.
This was an easy meal prep and the marinade would work for steak too. This week we'll be back at the storage unit which is getting easier to access with our sell-offs. No, The Frog & PenguINN hasn't sold (yet). But we are hopeful that the right new owner will find it soon (we hope).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back 2 School

These last 2 weeks of summer include final beach days for many, including our grand kids, Bobby & Ellie, who spent last weekend at a CT beach with their mom and aunt.

Earlier this week, both grand kids got haircuts. The 1st day of school for second-grader Bobby started this week.

And, of course, treats followed the new styles. (Thanks to their mom for taking photos with her cell phone and sending to us. We see them in Sept.)

Wishing everyone a wonderful Labor Day weekend here in the U.S. We've been busy overwhelmed this week preparing for a yard sale on Fri & Sat at The Frog & PenguINN. No, our house has not sold (yet) so we're selling lots of "stuff" instead.

If you're in the neighborhood, stop in — we'll have LOTS of STUFF. We wonder how WHY did we buy all of it? (Grenville feels that the "card fairies" brought some in.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Taste Testing

That's what we've been doing on weekends. OK sometimes even mid-week.

What are we testing?

Ice cream — especially chocolate peanut butter. Peanut butter and chocolate are healthy choices, aren't they? (If not, don't spoil our illusion delusion.) 

Here's our #1 choice (so far). . .

We also tried this brand . . .

which we rated . . . 
Why ice cream sampling? If you think it's just to enjoy it, you're partly right. The tasting was part of a competition — REALLY

Our local "Y"  recently hosted a Family Summer Challenge. The goal was for a family/couples to participate in 3 activities together for 4 weeks with required photo submission. YES, eating ice cream was one of the activities — along with beach walks, game night, watching fireworks, star gazing, fishing, playing softball or baseball, picnicking, swimming, exercising, crabbing/clamming, bowling, gardening, cookouts, car washing. NO, we didn't just enjoy ice cream for 4 weeks. The added "reward" was a free T-shirt after successful completion. We should have ours shortly — these challenges are how we get gym wear.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunny THANKS to All

THANKS to everyone for the anniversary wishes posted this week. We read and appreciated all you comments. It was wonderful to read that many other couples are married to their best friend too.

To celebrate we watched (most of) a Robin Williams movie at home, until thunderstorms kept bringing the internet down.We're saving a getaway celebration until Sept. (You were so right, Doris; we'll be in Lititz for a few days and will be in contact.) 

FYI: The sunflower is native to North America and its name derives from the Greek helios or sun and anthos or flower. Sunflowers turn their faces toward the sun as they track it across the sky, an activity called heliotropism or solar tracking. Special motor cells at the bases of the flower buds shrink or enlarge as they absorb water, which moves their faces toward the sun. Many other flowers track the sun this same way.

Sunflowers depend on pollinators like bees and butterflies to propagate. That's the reason they turn their faces toward the sun. The flowers usually showcase bright yellow petals surrounding large flower heads which makes it easy for pollinators to land on the sunflower faces; they too need more than just a large landing zone and also crave warmth.

As of 1903, the sunflower is the official flower of the state of Kansas which is known as the Sunflower State. Argentina and Russia grow the most sunflowers.
True friends are like bright sunflowers that never fade away, even over distance and time. (Marie Williams Johnstone)
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. It’s what Sunflowers do.(Helen Keller)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On This Day . . .

We both married our best friend — the one we 
Laugh with . . .
Dream with . . .
Live for . . .
AND, most of all —


Today, Dorothy & Pat celebrate their 15th anniversary. 
We've been laughing, dreaming, living, loving and will continue for many years ahead.

Friends from our home state of NJ, Sara & David sent words of advice . . .

Well wishes and this lovely card are from Kath and Andrew who are co-celebrating #43 today in England. Cheers & Happiness & Love to them !
We have a few more years to "catch up."

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