Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Come Sit With Me in the Backyard

I love Springtime, especially sitting in the backyard with the trees displaying their many shades of green and the white azaleas appearing as covered with snow.  I've always liked white flowers in the yard because they are so pretty when it's dusk, or dawn or in the midday sun.  Yesterday afternoon, although it was a bit windy, Maggie and I spent a great deal of time out back.  I swept up a bunch of oak catkins that had fallen on the patio, it will be covered again in the morning though.  I trimmed a few bushes, but mainly I just sat and enjoyed the beauty of the season and watched Maggie search for chipmunks---we have a lot.

The leaves look so pretty against the Carolina Blue sky.

Shades of green. 
Sun kissed white azaleas. 

A touch of purple.

My tree house is hidden by the trees. 
A birdhouse that my then Russian student Natasha Kennedy made for me.  I still cherish it.  
Maggie hunting for chipmunks.

Now I'm going to take my cup of tea, find my puppy, and  enjoy more of my backyard.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Brooklyn and the ACC Tournament

ACC Tournament at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.

When I last left you I was flying from West Palm Beach to Brooklyn, so I'm here now.  Actually this was a week or two ago.  The Basketball Season is over now, but I have had a fantastic one.  In addition to watching my three grandsons play, I traveled to Kansas to see Devonte' play, and then to the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn for three days.

We did a bit of sightseeing the first day we arrived: Buskers on the NY Subway,The World Trade Center Memorial, A ride in a Yellow Cab, Little Italy including Ferraras.

The World Trade Center Memorial.

Our first ride in a Yellow Cab in NY City. 

Dinner in Little Italy. 


The next morning I awoke to SNOW!  Zach and Patrick had gone early to the Barclay Center so I ventured out a bit later.  While waiting for a cab I met Eric Brown of ACC fame (played for Miami) who just happened to be staying at our hotel. I invited him to share my cab (which never came) so  we just hiked the almost mile to the Barclay Center in the snow.  FUN!!!
Snow our first morning here.  And after my leaving West Palm Beach where it was very warm.
Eric Brown and I before we started our hike to the Barclay Center. 
We had great seats thanks to Zach's friend Jerome Robinson who plays for Boston College.
Of course I was pulling for Carolina here. 
After I returned home I continued to watch the NCAA tournament.  My team didn't win but they did make it to the final four.  And I didn't do too well on my bracket.

Kansas beats Duke to go to Final Four. 

I was 15 out of 21.  I picked Virginia to go to Final Four and I picked Kansas to win it all. 

Basketball is over now until next year.  I will be waiting for the NBA draft to continue to follow Devonte' Graham.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Gadding About in West Palm Beach with Cousins

Beautiful palm trees in Robin's back yard.  
Last week I drove down to West Palm Beach with cousins Joan, Rick and Gary to visit cousins Robin and Elizabeth (Joan's daughter and granddaughter). Robin and her husband Ken have bought a lovely retirement house there where they plan to spend the winters. Elizabeth who teaches at a University there is a permanent resident.  I always enjoy spending time with first cousin Joan and her lovely family, but this visit was particularly nice.  The weather was perfect and the company delightful.

Robin and Ken's house is beautiful inside and out with Robin's unique decorator's touch inside and tropical landscaping outside.
A collection of daughter Rebecca's drawings grabs one's attention on a living room wall. 

A closeup of one of Rebecca's drawings. 

The front of the house. 

Back patio. 

Joan enjoying the back patio in the afternoon. 

Robin and Gary playing Cornhole on the back patio at night. 

In addition to the cousins I enjoyed their dogs, Gus, Tom, and Banjo.
Elizabeth's dog Banjo resting after a run at the nearby dog park. 
Robin's King Charles Spaniels, Tom and Gus, enjoying their favorite chair.  

We had lots of good food, and then did a lot of walking to get rid of some of those calories.
Elizabeth's delicious cake with Blood Orange icing.  

Scallops and wild rice at Sailfish Marina and Resort Restaurant. 
We shared a slice of Key Lime Pie.  You can't go to West Palm Beach without  having at least one bite.. 
Beautiful neighborhood for walking.
On our walk we passed this beautiful lake in their neighborhood, and Rick is checking it out.  
I walked over two miles one day while there. 

After three days I left the glorious weather of West Palm Beach and flew to Brooklyn where I was greeted with snow.  More about that later.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

At the Ballgame in Allen Fieldhouse: Kansas v Baylor

Allen Fieldhouse. 

Saturday morning Zach and I had a slow start and headed to downtown Lawrence where we got breakfast at Wheatfield Bakery.  The food was good and the baked goods were spectacular.

Brunch at Wheatfield Bakery.  Notice the large cinnamon roll.

I had a meatball grinder.  
After our breakfast, guess it was brunch because it was noon, we had planned to find a pub where we could watch the UNC ballgame that was starting at 1:00 Kansas time.  At the Bakery there was a group of women with Pussy Hats on, and I asked if they had been to a Women's March.  They explained that the March was at 1:00 just down the street, so I decided to go with them and let Zach find a pub and watch the game.  Zach was reluctant to have me go off on my own, but I explained I would get Uber back to the Fieldhouse and meet him for the 5:00 ballgame and that I would be okay.
Rosie the Riveter.

Women's March in Lawrence Kansas. 

Back at the Fieldhouse we entered through a door designated for family and guests of players to get our tickets.  Our seats were in a great spot behind the Baylor team.  We got there in time to watch the teams warm up.
Kansas warming up for game. 
Kansas got off to a great start and was leading by double digits early in the game, but Baylor kept inching up and with a few minutes left Baylor was leading, but Kansas made a comeback and won the game by three points.  During those last minutes Devonte' stole the ball and then with Kansas leading by only one Devonte' made two foul shots to insure that Baylor would be able to only tie the game in the final seconds.  Baylor didn't.  It was very nerve wracking at the end of the game.
Devonte's cheering section.  Left to right: His Mom, his cousin, his sister, and me.  
We hung around to see Devonte' after the game, and then I went back to the motel happy but pretty tired.  Zach went back into town to meet Devonte' and some of his friends for a few hours of partying.  Zach enjoyed seeing how popular Devtone' is and how folks were coming up and high fiving him.
His Mom is happy after the win.  

Zach congratulating Devonte' on the win. 

I've never watched an NBA game, but next year I will definitely be following Devonte' .  I hope he gets drafted by a team that is fairly close to Raleigh, because attending an NBA game where he will be playing is on my Bucket List.

Gadding About with #4 in Lawrence, Kansas

Devonte' Graham
I first was awed by Devonte' Graham while attending my first basketball game at Daniels Middle School where my grandson Zach was on the team.  There was this phenomenal little kid hitting 3 pointers right and left, stealing the ball, making great passes, and I exclaimed "Who is THAT kid?"  His grandmother, Doris King McCain who was sitting behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "That's my grandson."  I have followed Devonte' ever since.  He and Zach played together at Daniels, at Broughton, and played in the State Championship Game together at the Dean Dome in 2013.

After a year at Brewster Academy, Devonte' was signed by Bill Self at Kansas where he has had a spectacular four-year career.  As I followed the Jayhawks, I told Zach that we must go to Lawrence to see Devonte' play.  This past weekend, I marked this off my Bucket List.  What a grand time we had!!!!

We met Devonte' on Friday night at Jefferson's a popular bar/restaurant on Mass Avenue.  Zach and I had arrived a bit early and claimed a table.  When Devonte' walked in you could see heads turn, because he is well-recognized and admired both off and on the court.  Devonte' is kind and thoughtful, and when young boys wanted to have their pictures made with him as we left the restaurant, he happily obliged.   He is quite the celebrity in Lawrence.
Having dinner at Jefferson's. 

After dinner, Devonte' took us on a tour of Allen Fieldhouse, the athletic facilities and his dorm.  It was all mind-boggling!
The practice court. 

Allen Fieldhouse empty at night and ready for Saturday night's game. 

Balls ready for the upcoming game.

Devonte' and Zach at center court. 

The locker room. 

Zach and I left his dorm all psyched up and ready for the game on Saturday night.

(To be continued.  Stay tuned.)