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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Summer in all her glory

Summer is here in all her glory. Daisies and Black-eyed Susans adorn the pond with the colors of moonbeams and sunrays while dragonflies circle the area looking for a tasty mosquito or insect to snack on.

The world is baking under a scorching sun and the tall trees spread their limbs to shade the man or beast who must venture out into the blistering heat. The world moves at a slower pace on these days. Every movement is an effort. Heat and humidity can drain a person of energy but a slow walk by the pond can restore the soul on a summer’s evening. Lightening bugs float above the fields creating a fairy land that out shines anything Disney can do.

Mother ducks proudly lead their new chicks to the pond for their first swimming lesson. They grow quickly and each day they venture farther away from their mothers. The mortality rate is high for young ducks as they are a prize dinner for the snapping turtles and the occasional hawk that swoops down unseen from above. The smart mothers have learned where the turtles live and carefully maintain their nurseries in the marshes and streams leading into the pond. The muskrats gather grass along the banks and quickly dive into their carefully sculpted tunnels when anyone appears. They then sit inside the tunnels thinking no one sees them as they observe us walking by. The ducks and muskrats must have an understanding because they live side by side in apparent harmony. We could learn from them if more people would take the time to stop and observe nature’s lessons.

The heron stands as a sentential at the mouth of the pond looking tall and stately like one of the queen’s palace guards. He then spreads his outsized wings and rises above us all on a gentle breeze. It always lifts my spirits to watch him circle the pond and then gracefully disappear beyond the tree tops.

Summer is here and her beauty is so very temporary so pour yourself a tall cold glass of ice tea or lemonade and find a porch, deck, patio, or park and enjoy the moment. You will be wishing you could relive this moment some frigid day in January.

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Hi Friends! No, nothing is wrong with your computer, I have been busy with other things and haven’t added to my blog in way too long. Today I’m doing a quick update just to let you know I’m still alive and well. However, don’t worry, I have been busy collecting information on more topics of interests and promise to inform you and make you think in the near future. I have also taken some beautiful pictures of summer and will add them very soon.

I received a beautiful note from my neighbor, Shaheena Arthur, who I wrote about recently when she became an American citizen. She writes:


 Thanks for this wonderful blog on July 4th. Thankful to Martha,
Jim, Sheila, Phyllis, Judith, Bill and neighbors for the get
together, to mark the occassion of me becoming US citizen. It is this
kind of welcome and acceptance that makes the immigrants like us to feel at
home here in USA.  I am from Pakistan and moved to USA in 2003
after the marriage. America proved to be land of opportunity for us in
every sense. Like most immigrants, I miss the country I am
from. At the same time, I am very proud of being a US citizen.
 Irrespective of the current economic downturn, We are incredibly
optimistic about America’s prospects and our life here in this great

 thanks again


I also have a mystery on my hands. A neighbor gave me some flowers to transplant in my garden and this spring a huge flower began growing. No one knows what it is but my next door neighbor calls it the Jack in the Beanstalk flower. The neighbor who so generously gave me her transplanted flowers has been out-of-town this summer and is not around to ask if the mystery flower is one of hers or just a weed that sprang up. So I am hoping one of my readers can identify this strange flower.  It is about 8 ft. tall and still growing. It develops a long green spike and small yellow flowers appear along the new growth. Can anyone please solve this mystery for me–What the heck is it???

More Handicapped Parking Violations | NBC 4i

More Handicapped Parking Violations | NBC 4i.

Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time. Recently, while waiting for my husband at the local Kroger store, Candice Lee from NBC4i interviewed me about handicapped parking. I told her she needed to talk to my husband because he is the reason we have the placard. He not only had a lot to say about handicapped parking and those who illegally park in the spots  (as I knew he would); but he also had the scars on the knees to prove he did, indeed, need a handicapped placard.

For those who are tempted to pull into handicapped spaces and run in for a quick errand, remember, there are people who actually need the space. Also, a person doesn’t need to be limping, on a walker or cane, or pulling an oxygen tank to need a handicapped space. Many people with breathing problems, such as asthma or emphazema, or heart disease need handicapped parking. They may look healthy but even a short walk can be difficult for such people.

As Candice Lee points out, permits for the handicapped have increased greatly in recent years creating more of a demand for such parking. The baby boomers are getting older and there will be more of a demand in the future. So the next time you or a friend are tempted to park illegally in a handicapped space please be respectful to those who really need these spaces. Remember, you may be old and need a close parking space some day.


Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July

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We celebrate our country’s Independence Day with parades and picnics; flags, family, and fireworks.

Bring on the parades—this is the 4th of July

Cake made by Marth Smith to honor new citizen Shaheena Arthur

This is the Fourth of July holiday weekend and in true American fashion many communities are exercising their right to open debate.

As communities prepare for the big celebration of America’s independence, many people are voicing doubts over everything from whether or not candy should be thrown into the crowds lining parade routes to how many politicians can march in the parade or whether or not we should even celebrate our independence with parades and fireworks. I say Bah Humbug to all of the Scrooges!

I love everything about the 4th of July. I love the parades with the bands, countless American flags, endless number of politicians, civic organizations, boy scouts and girl scouts, swim teams, little league teams, neighborhood kids riding decorated bicycles, military units and honor guards, screaming fire engines, and miles of red, white, and blue crape paper. I love it all!  This is true Americana—a microcosm of our nation passing before our eyes.

My heart swells with pride when the flag flutters in the breeze and I have a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as military units and aging veterans go by. I can never hear the national anthem without choking back tears thinking of the many sacrifices made so I can stand proudly and proclaim I am an American. The business of politics can get pretty nasty but I am thankful I live where we can openly voice our disagreements without fear of imprisonment or death.

I admire the immigrants who left everything behind to come to a new land. I wonder what my ancestors endured coming to this country. I think of my original ancestor who was brought to these shores to fight for King George in 1774 but became a turncoat and fought for the colonists under Col. Washington. What motivated him to make such a bold move? I find a hint in the family history that was recorded the 14th Day of January 1933. It reads:   

 Great Grandfather Moore, whose name was James Moore was born near Dublin, Ireland, and came to this country with a regiment of Irish soldiers, attached to the British Army during the Revolutionary War. In fact, his name was not Moore, but Fitzpatrick, but being Irish, and not at all in sympathy with the British, but knowing the methods of the British in his homeland, he lost no time in leaving the British cause and enlisting in the Continental Army under Washington, and took the maiden name of his Mother, which was Moore. Since that time the name of Moore has been borne by all of his descendents.

This country has always been the land of immigrants, the melting pot of nations, and I am puzzled at the animosity toward certain groups. Each ethnic wave that came here endured a certain amount of prejudice but still people came. I am happy to say I have friends from many different nations and I call it my smorgasbord of friends. We have joyfully celebrated as each one has taken the big step to become a citizen. Over the years I have known people from Cuba, Mexico, Germany, and China who took the oath to become naturalized citizens. One of our country’s newest citizens is our neighbor, Shaheena Arthur from Pakistan, who became a citizen on June 21. She was so excited to become a citizen and our small group of neighbors who helped her celebrate was happy for her.

So bring on the parades, the bands, the flags, and the politicians. Bring on the beer, brats, and burgers and cap off the night with a grand display of fireworks. This is our nation’s birthday, its celebration of independence, and this is how we celebrate. We cannot let this momentous occasion be lost to history for if we don’t celebrate then it will be forgotten. It is a way of bringing everyone together to celebrate something we all believe in—the greatness of our nation.

 Somehow we have all learned to live together and combine our many experiences to forge one great nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


New citizen Shaheena Arthur with husband Lenin Kailasammani and daughter Saira Mani