Monday, April 28, 2008

On the sidewalks of New York

photo credit:

Over the weekend, I concluded the viewing of the Emmy award- winning PBS series, New York: A Documentary Film, courtesy of Netflix. Produced and directed by Ric Burns (brother of Ken), the series of seven episodes thoughtfully passes on the story of New York from the early days of Dutch settlements through the building of the Erie Canal to the city as a domestic and international hub of commerce and finance.
A compelling and poignant documentary, the epic film sets off swiftly. With the advances in photography and moving picture capabilities, the sequences slow to incorporate remarkable footage of citizens, places and events over the years.
An eighth episode was added following the tragic and appalling events of September 11, 2001 which details the production and eventual devastation of the World Trade Center.
If you are a guest to or a dweller of New York, or perhaps just inquisitive, you will find this series captivating. However, show patience; the series requires a total of sixteen hours including the 8th episode to observe.

photo credits:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Celebrate Mother Earth

Seven ways I conserve and recycle while here on earth:

1. Recycle clothes hangers to the dry cleaners, because once is never enough.

2. Dine with cloth napkins and and clean with cloth dish towels. Ther are no paper products in the kitchen at my home. Yes, they need to be laundered, but I just toss them in with existing loads.

3. Install dimmer switches everywhere feasible. Reduced wattage= conserved energy. Unfortunately, CFL bulbs may not be used with dimmer technology.

4. Recycle take-out containers. Wash them and reuse for leftover storage, lunch containers, road trips, gardening, etc. Recent reports indicate that heating plastics may release harmful chemicals. Do not use with hot foods or in the microwave.

5. Exterior light fixtures in the back turn on according to built-in motion sensors. Lights remain off unless disturbed= saved energy. I also have a switch in my bedroom to flip quickly to activate four spotlights, if I hear something outside. All other times, lights remain off.

6. My sprinkler system includes a rain sensor which detects accumulated moisture and dampness in the air. Why water the lawn if it is raining or just about to?

7. My computer is set to sleep when not in use. Pages remain open and pop back up when awoken.

Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April Amaryllis

Christmas blooms in April here with these gorgeous amaryllises. Two stalks have four blossoms! Once the flowering ceases, I will chop off the spent stalks and put out on the deck for the remainder of the spring/summer until the fall. Then off to the basement for a nap until next spring.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jacksonville, Florida: Cummer Gardens

Overlooking the Saint Johns River, the Cummer Gardens bestow three carefully designed gardens on the grounds of the former home of Arthur and Ninah Cummer. A gargoyle, garden ornamentation, fountains, a putting green, wrought iron gates and screens, benches, planters, an arbor, parterres and reflecting pools keep company with an aged canopied oak and assorted flourishing foliage in Northeast Florida.

Verdant growth surrounds a lamppost.

Mosaic fountain flanked by periwinkles.

Wisteria arbor, not yet in bloom, overlooks the Saint Johns River.

Fruit on the calamondin tree

I am drawn to the architectural interest of wrought iron design these days.

A rusty rooster is impaled in this iron gate.

Necking flamingos

Ivy topiary

Elegant double-bloomed Amaryllis

"Two Children with a Goose"... surrounded by parterres, a replication of a sculpture
by Pierino de Vinci.
A wall-mounted pedestal planter filled with spring blossoms.
Definitely worth a visit while in the Jacksonville area.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A simple life

This was on the wall of my Marriott hotel room, this past weekend.
I should have turned off the flash feature on the camera.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Come the summer, the Colonel and I will be taking a jaunt through Washington, Oregon and California. Leaving from Seattle, we will journey to Los Angeles aboard Amtrak. Travel by train is a great way to glimpse scenery and landscapes across the country.

But that is just the half of it.

Our flight to Seattle and return to Dulles will be aboard Sir Richard Branson's newly launched airline, Virgin America. Last fall, brand new (not refurbished) Airbuses began trans-American flights linking New York and Washington, DC to the west coast (Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Seattle, Las Vegas). There are plans to add additional cities (up to thirty, possibly) as future destinations.

Leave the Ipod at home as flying with Richard will be an over-the-top technological mood lighting, screen touch food service, USB ports, in-flight chat rooms, video games, phenomenal music selection, movies, TV shows, electrical outlets, Google maps, roomy and comfy seats. Currently, prices are extremely reasonable; the lowest being $139 each way.

Banana Republic is offering a special additional 25% savings for their preferred customers on bookings placed through April 4.