Sunday, May 13, 2018

Gadding About at UNC Graduation for Class of 2018

The procession of graduates. 
My oldest grandson, Zach, graduated from UNC today, and I was there to celebrate.  It was a horribly hot day, but his grandfather and I made our way over early and managed to get a seat that remained in the shade for the entire program.  
A sea of Carolina Blue. 

Sitting in the shade. 

After the commencement, we walked over to the DKE House where we enjoyed a fine lunch. 
Zach on the left with his brothers Tyler (middle) and Brooks.

Granddaughter Grace. 

My first born son Michael, father of the graduate. 

The siblings in front of DKE House. 

Michael and Meredith with their four kids. 
One down, three to go.  Michael and Meredith (both graduates of UNC where they met) have done a great job rearing those grands. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Cup of Tea and A Good Book

A cup of green tea and a good book.
Patrick and Alvaro take care of our yard but I enjoy working outdoors too, so I manage to get in a bit of yard work without their noticing.  I trimmed a few of the shrubs out front in the cool of this morning.

After filling one bag with trimmings, it was time to enjoy a cup of tea and a book and the view from the front patio. 
A nice place for a cup of tea and a book. 
I try to have a cup of green tea each day because it is healthful, and the book that I am currently reading is written by one of Dan's former graduate students Curt Stager.  Still Waters The Secret Life of Lakes is the fifth book that Stager has authored and is dedicated to Dan, Joe Richardson, and Curt's father.  I'm sorry Still Waters wasn't completed before these three passed away.  Dan was aware that the book was in progress, and he knew that it would be dedicated to him as well.  Dan would have been very proud of the book as I'm sure the others would have been too.  In Still Waters Stager explains beautifully how lakes are impacted by humans and how lakes affect humans as well.  Laymen and scientists both can appreciate and learn from this book.
Book by Curt Stager and pottery by Westmoore Pottery. 

Mary at Westmoore Pottery made these little butter dishes that are great for holding used tea bags. 
This fountain began leaking so we converted it to a planter for my succulents. 

One of Mark Hewitt's first big pots. 
My view to the east when enjoying my tea on the front patio.    The rhododendrons are at their peak. 

It was quite pleasant spending time out in that area of the yard this morning, and I may return in the cool of the evening to enjoy the display of rhododendrons at their peak.

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.