2022 · Live In Concert · New York · Places · Special Events · USA

Teddy Swims “Tough Love World Tour” @ Webster Hall, NYC ~ 04.29.2022

Last night, Kevin and I went to see Teddy Swims at Webster Hall in New York City. Teddy’s album Tough Love was released in January. And he is on a world tour right now. At this moment, Teddy is still in the beginning of his career. He plays at smaller venues or as a support act for much bigger bands. At an event with a smaller audience, we could stand much closer to the stage and get a better glimpse of Teddy Swims and his band โ€ขWildHeartโ€ข.

In 2019, I found Teddy on YouTube while I was searching for Mario’s “Let Me Love You”. I clicked on Teddy’s cover version and listened to it. Since he did a good cover, I wanted to see if he has more to offer and found more covers: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, “Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye, “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore” by Billie Eilish, … just to name a few. I was hooked on his voice and style. When he released his own album, I had to see him live in concert.

2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Our Garden/Yard In Late April 2022

Now, at the end of April our yard has changed quite a bit. More ground cover blossoms have emerged from the ground; the shrubs begin to bloom; and our maple trees start to turn green. Spring becomes more colorful. The last couple of days, I’ve seen an American Robin picking nesting material on our property. A Mourning Cloak butterfly flew across our yard as well.

While I captured photos of fresh Spring blooms I asked our neighbor, if it was okay to capture some photos of the Saucer Magnolia blossoms on his property. After I’ve got permission, I shot some images of these beautiful blooms. They always remind me of my childhood in Germany. We’ve got a lot of Saucer Magnolia trees in the Court Garden of the Residence and in the Royal Garden (Kaisergรคrtchen) close to the train station in Wรผrzburg. As a little girl, my grandma dressed me up, when we took a walk through the Court Garden of the Residence. When grandma sat on a bench to take a break near the Saucer Magnolias, I was collecting the blossom leaves from the ground and counted them, how many I could hold in my hand. That kept me busy for quite some time.

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Joshua, The Tabby Maine Coon

It was December, and for days I was following a post about a certain cat on the internet, which was stuck in our local shelter. The local Animal Advocates also posted on their page to let the neighborhood know that the shelter is overflown with pets. They also let us know when the dogs and cats were ready for adoption. When I saw this one cat in a photo, it was like โ€œLove at first sightโ€. Now, my job was to persuade my husband that Finley needs another playmate other than two middle-aged dogs. โ€œHell! That cat even thinks heโ€™s a dog! The only thing, what makes him not being a dog: Heโ€™s not barking!โ€ I insisted. It took me two hours to get Kevin to ask: โ€When are we going to the shelter and take a look at that cat?โ€

We drove to the shelter; with the hope the cat was still there. When we arrived there, the friendly staff at the shelter showed us the cat room (which brought back memories of when we were looking for Sammy, and adopted Finley years earlier). I looked at the cages and said to Katelynn: โ€œThatโ€™s him! Just look at him. He is even more handsome and adorable than in the photo. After getting introduced and observing the cat, we realized he had sniffles. Katelynn and Sara were a little bit concerned about it. But I ensured, the cat probably has the โ€˜shelter-coldโ€™, what is common in some pets, when they have to stay in a cage for days and wait for a family to adopt them. Katelynn was satisfied with my answer and said: โ€œMom, are we adopting him? Iโ€™ve already got a name for him.โ€ โ€œWhat would his name be, if we take him home?โ€ I asked. She replied: โ€œIโ€™d name him Joshua!โ€ A little bit later, Kevin and I agreed to adopt the cat. And Joshua came home with us.

At home the dogs sniffed the new family member. We called Finley (Remember Finley thinks, heโ€™s a dog. Yep, he also listens like a dog. LOL) to introduce him to his new playmate. Finley came around the corner, looked at Joshua. And Joshuaโ€™s reaction was a big hiss. Finley walked away with the look in his face: โ€œWhat the โ€ฆ?! Since when do we allow cats in our house?โ€ Rangerโ€™s and Lexiโ€™s conversation must have been like this: โ€œAre you going to tell him, or do you want me to tell him?โ€ โ€” โ€œNaw, let him figure it out himself!โ€

It took about two days, until the cats were not hissing back and forth anymore. They started to tumble and play fight with one another. It took Joshua about a week to get rid of his cold. We wrapped him in a blanket, where he napped for most of the days. But at 3 a.m. the night was over. Because Mr. Joshua was meowing until the whole house was awake. Unfortunately, that went on until we got another cat. I’ll post about that member next week.

(April 2015)

2022 · Days of The Week · Wildlife Wednesday

Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)ย 

Red-eared sliders are Texas’s most common aquatic turtles. These turtles get their name from a broad red stripe behind their eye and their habit of sliding off rocks and logs when startled. Older turtles are often covered with a thick coat of algae. Some red-eared sliders can live more than 30 years.

Sliders are cold-blooded and spend hours sunning themselves on rocks and logs. If there are not enough rocks or logs for all of them, they will often stack themselves one on top of the other! They bury themselves in loose soil or mud during the winter to escape the cold. When population numbers get high, these turtles move across land to other bodies of water in search of food and space. They eat aquatic plants, small fish, and decaying material.

Sliders have poor hearing but are very sensitive to vibrations. This makes it hard to sneak up on them. Their name, slider, comes from the fact that they are quick to slide off rocks, logs or the banks if danger threatens.

Resource: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/slider/

2022 · New Jersey · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part IV): Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Landmarks – Half Island Cruise, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

The last adventure was the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise – Landmarks, which guided us from the Hudson River into the East River under the BMW (Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge} before the boat turned around again. From the boat, we could see The Vessel, Little Island, Mid-Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, the Financial District, Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, Ellis Island, Lady Liberty (Statue of Liberty), Brooklyn, the BMW Bridges, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the full One World Trade Center Tower, and the Waterfront of Jersey City. Jersey City had a fly-over by two Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys, when we entered the Hudson River again. The tour lasted one and a half hours around half of Manhattan Island.

When Kevin, Sara and I exited the boat, we walked straight into 43rd street to pick up the car from the garage, Our New York City CityPASS adventures were done, and we wanted to leave New York before rush hour hit. The only attraction, we didn’t visit was the American Museum of Natural History. That place had been more interesting for Katelynn.


2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA

Colorado River Discovery – River Rafting In The Glen Canyon, Arizona 2008

In the afternoon, we went with the raft from the Glen Canyon Dam to Leeโ€™s Ferry. It was a 4ยฝ hour tour on the Colorado River in the Glen Canyon. Chuck, our tour guide and rafter, told us interesting stories and read us poems about the canyon. At the NE corner of the Horseshoe Bend, we stopped and looked at the Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs. Some of these petroglyphs symbolize that these native people found a herd of pronghorns close by. A more hidden one shows what we believe to be an eagle. Back on the raft and further down the river, we saw some very interesting stone formations. My favorite one is Finger Arch. The afternoon trip on the river was fun and definitely not boring. We were surprised, Katelynn lasted that long. But she crashed in my arms on the tour bus, when we were on our way back to Page. It was a long day for her. She was sleeping in the car all the way back to the Grand Canyon Village. And she was very happy to snuggle with her little lamb โ€œMimiโ€ in her sleeping bag that night.

… to be continued …

2022 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut · USA

Hiking At The Merimere Reservoir In Meriden

On Saturday, Kevin and I decided to take a spontaneous hike at Castle Craig. Katelynn came with us to get rid of her jetlag faster. When we arrived at Hubbard Park, it seemed like there was an event going on. Later, I found out it was the weekend before the Daffodil Festival. The tents went up, and vendors prepared for the event. Unfortunately, Peak Drive was closed off. And so we had to walk along the Merimere Reservoir towards the castle. On the walk, we saw wildflowers, and a millipede and had a good view of the castle’s tower. Since we didn’t bring enough water, we turned around after approximately two miles. Roundtrip, we did about four miles. Even when Kevin, Katelynn, and I didn’t make it all the way to Castle Craig, we had a nice hike at the park.

2022 · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part III): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

From the Space Shuttle Pavilion, we walked inside the USS Intrepid. Kevin, Sara and I had to go up a view flight of stairs to reach the captain’s cabin and the Pilot House. We could see the technology that was used back in the 1940s. There were a lot of radars for the ship and the incoming aircraft. When you click on the photos, you might not find the right names under them. I’m not good with ship terminology. Please bear with me!

Downstairs in the hanger, we saw a brass ship propeller; more airplanes, and helicopters (Sara posed in one for a photo.); and the history models of the USS Intrepid.

… to be continued …

2022 · Places · Texas · USA

World Penguin Day 2022

African Penguin in the Dallas Zoo

National Penguin Day began in 1972 when Gerry Wallace wrote the event on his wifeโ€™s (Aletaโ€™s) calendar in Alamogordo, California. They later brought the celebration to the Naval Weapons Center in Ridgecrest, California where the Penguin Patrol made the news. April 25th is also the date that the Adelie penguins begin their migration northward toward Antartica. There are 18 species of penguins, and all their natural habitats are in the Southern hemisphere.

Resource: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/world-penguin-day-april-25/

2022 · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part II): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The Space Shuttle Pavilion, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

When Kevin, Sara and I entered the Space Shuttle Pavillion, we were greeted by the rear-end of the Enterprise. However, the twins of the Perseverance “Percy” Mars Rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured my interest first. It was very interesting to see both in the original sizes of their counterparts on Mars. Percy has the same dimensions, and is about 300 lb. heavier than its predecessor. The helicopter, Ingenuity, was designed to work for 30 days and five flights. It went on its first flight on April 19, 2021 and on the 26th flight April 20, 2022. It has a flight time of 49 minutes and 10 seconds, and traveled 6.23 Kilometers (3.87 miles) on Mars, so far.

“Greetings Earthlings!”

Meanwhile, Kevin and Sara looked closely at the Enterprise and its history. Later, I went upstairs to get a better view of the Space Shuttle’s front and left side. I had to use my panoramic feature on my cellphone to capture the whole shuttle at once. It is huge. Coming back downstairs, I could take a glimpse inside the Russian Space Capsule, Soyuz TMA-6.

… to be continued …

2022 · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part I): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The Flight Museum ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ›ฉ๐Ÿช‚ New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

I have to break the visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum into several parts. The first part is the Flight Museum. When we went on the Intrepid, which is at Pier 86 by the Hudson River, we’ve seen the Submarine USS Growler to the right. Kevin and Sara have Claustrophobia and therefore get anxiety in small spaces. Since I’ve seen the German submarine Wilhelm Bauer (U-2540) in Bremerhaven, I was okay with not going inside the USS Growler in New York City. However, there were some cool displays of planes and helicopters on the top deck of the aircraft carrier.

In my photos are the USS Intrepid (CV-11) – US Navy; USS Growler – US Navy; Grumman F-9 Cougar – US Navy; US Navy Blue Angels Hornet Replica; Grumman A-E6 Intruder – US Navy; Vought F-8 Crusader – US Navy; PZL-Mielec Lim-5 (MiG-17) – Polish Air Force; Sikorsky H-19 – US Coast Guard; Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard – US Coast Guard

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Saturday - Caturday

Ozzy, The Sun Worshipper

Dear beloved Sun God, I’m so happy you shine and warm up my fur. Praise Lugh, the Celtic Sun God!

Ozzy worships the Sun as much as he can outdoors. He’s so ready for Spring and Summer weather. The trees begin to bud, bloom and get their leaves. The oak trees need a little bit extra time, while the maples are ready for the warmer weather. Ozzy enjoys hanging out with his feline brothers, prowl and provide us shrews for “dinner”. Cat instinct is at its finest.

2022 · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part III): Times Square, Manhattan, New York City

April 18, 2022

New York City reminds me of a buzzing beehive. It’s always busy, 24/7. Therefore, New York has a nickname, which derives from Frank Sinatra’s song “New York, New York”: The City That Never Sleeps. No matter where we went, there was always something going on. Workers, construction, trash trucks, police, people trying to get from place A to place B several blocks down the street, tourists, street sales people, homeless people who look for a couple of dollars, people who shoot selfies or Tiktok clips of themselves. In Times Square it could be seen all at once, since it is a big open area for everyone to look around, see all those sky-high billboards on the building, and enjoy life with a cup of coffee and some kind of snack. Kevin, Sara and I decided to make a short stop at the Disney Store New York. Before we walked to the garage and drove home, I wanted a plush “Lady Liberty” Minnie as a souvenir.

… to be continued …

2022 · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part II): Empire State Building, New York City (CityPASS)

April 18, 2022

When Kevin, Sara and I arrived at the corner of 5th Avenue & 34th Street, I looked left and right to find the Empire State Building. It could nowhere be found. Then I read the sign Empire State Building and looked up. “Holy sh*t! This building is colossal.” Kevin asked: “Did you find it?” While I still looked up and almost got a neck spasm I replied: “I’m looking at it.” The bottom of the building blends in so well, we had no idea, it was right there. LOL

Once, we made it inside the Empire State Building, we had quite a bit to look at. Of course, there was the historical part that can’t be left out. Construction of the building started in March 1930, and finished in April 1931, just in time for the opening on May 1, 1931. There are tons of movies with the Empire State Building, including King Kong. The giant ape poses for pictures. He is actually a very nice fella, who hurts no one. But these airplanes still make him nervous. I guess the pilots didn’t get the memo, the shot of the movie has been done for almost 90 years, now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ On the 86th Floor, we had a perfect view of New York City again. This time, I could get a better photo of the Chrysler Building, because the MetLife Tower was not in its way. We’ve got a better view of the Financial District, especially the One World Trade Center. The wind was chilly up on that floor. So, we looked around for a little bit and made our way back downstairs.

Once we were out of the Empire State Building, we took a break from sightseeing to have lunch at TGI Fridays. We also called it a day. New York was supposed to get a heavy rainstorm with flash floods. And we didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of it. After lunch, we made our way back to the car. But first, we hung out at Times Square for a little bit, since it was on our path to the garage.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Finley, The Domestic Shorthair

In June 2007 our first cat, Sammy, went missing. One day, she slipped out of the house, walked away and never found her way back home again. I printed flyers and taped them to the mail boxes, asked businesses if I could hang a flyer on their pin boards, and went to the local shelter every other day. But there was no sign of Sammy.

One late afternoon, I walked into the shelter again. There was still no lead that Sammy was seen somewhere; she was nowhere to be found. Katelynn looked at all the cats and kittens, said: โ€œMom, I miss Sammy. But can we have another cat?โ€ I looked at some of the cats. And there was a cute, three-year-old Mainecoon. I had my eye on her, while I called Kevin. Kevin wasnโ€™t so sure if this was a good idea. If Katelynn really wants to get another cat, it would be better to have a younger cat. I was still on the phone with him, when all of a sudden, a small paw reached for me. A little grayish/white kitten meowed, as he wanted to say: โ€œHey, how about me?!โ€ I rubbed his little paw with my thumb and I fell in love with this little stinker.

After all the paperwork was done, we named him Socks. Socks was actually fairly big for his age. At that time, the shelter estimated him to be four months. But he looked more like a six months old kitten. A couple of days later, I realized I didnโ€™t like โ€œSocksโ€, because it was a common name. Kevin and I were thinking about a name, when it popped into my head that we could name him after a player or former player of our local, professional basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks. โ€œDirkโ€ and โ€œMr. Nowitzkiโ€ sounded silly. โ€œNashโ€ was out of the question. I came up with Bradley (Shawn Bradley). And then Kevin had the idea to name him Finley (Michael Finley). I really liked the name โ€œFinleyโ€. On that day, Finley got his permanent name.

Now, eight years later he is still an awesome cat. He definitely is a character. Finley will let us know, if and when he wants to be petted by rubbing his side on our calves. He canโ€™t stand it, to be picked up: All claws come out, while spreads his โ€˜fingersโ€™ and โ€˜toesโ€™. But he loves catnip. OMG, does he love it. Finley is also a very good hunter. At this time of the year, we have to be careful, heโ€™s not bringing any baby bunnies and rats into the house. He feels privileged to offer us food. So, we need to tell him to leave his โ€˜trophiesโ€™ outside.

April 2015

Finley (2007 – 2017)

2022 · New York · Places · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part I): Top of The Rock Observation Deck, New York City (CityPASS)

April 18, 2022
Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam)

For our 20th Wedding Anniversary, Kevin, Sara and I went to New York City yesterday. Last week I purchased the CityPASS, which saved us 40% admission at the entrance of five sights. Our first location was Top of The Rock at the Rockefeller Center. The elevator lifted us to the 67th floor, where we could see Manhattan through the glass. From there we went to the 69th Floor, where we still had the glass barrier. When we walked upstairs to reach the 70th floor, we finally had clear sight of the surrounding area. From there Kevin, Sara and I got a good look over the Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, Financial District, Williamsburg Bridge, Central Park, Hudson River, and East River. Sara mentioned: “People look like ants on the streets.” We enjoyed the view for at least an hour, before it was time for us to walk over to the Empire State Building, 16 blocks south from the Rockefeller Center.

… to be continued…

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA

Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona 2008

On Monday, we had our busiest tour day. Since we planned to go to Page to see the Antelope Canyon, we also planned a trip down the Colorado River as well. We organized this all in early March. And all what we had to do is show up and tell the receptionists we had arrived for the tours. Everything was paid ahead. Therefore, it all went very smoothly. In the morning, we had a Navajo tour guide showing us, in a small group, the Antelope Canyon. Itโ€™s one of the most photographed places on the planet. I was fascinated by what water can do to sandstone over all those years.

… to be continued …

2022 · Anniversary

Our 20 Year Anniversary


I am thankful for 20 years with you,
Full of struggles, fun, adventures, and companionship.
Our love gets sweeter by the day!


2022 · Places · Rhode Island · USA

Travel Journal: Newport, Rhode Island (Part II)

April 15, 2022

Kevin, Sara and I had a late lunch at the Brick Oven Pizzeria on Thames Street, before we made our way to Goat Island. We saw the famous Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves. A lot of people enjoyed sitting outside, eating, drinking and being social. The glass walls protected them from the wind. And the sun was warm. My face got sunburned a little bit. Sara got herself one of those Amethyst crystals, I talked about in Part I. As we kept walking, we’ve got a good look at the Oliver Hazard Perry sailboat in Newport Harbor. Almost halfway up on the bridge to Goat Island, I could capture some photos, I usually see on the frontpage of Newport tourist magazines: The Goat Island Lighthouse and the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge in the background. We didn’t make it all across the Goat End Connector, the bridge that connects Goat Island with Aquidneck Island. It was too darn windy. However, Kevin, Sara and I had a good time in Newport. We’ve got to see some places. Now, we know the size of Newport and Aquidneck Island. Next time, we can plan the trip better and know what to expect.



Easter 2022


A Sweet Easter Poem

As the cold and grey winter days
Give way, to the bright and beautiful spring โ€ฆ
You know itโ€™s time for you to hear,
The Easter bells ring!
The birds are chirping,
The bunnies are out,
There are Easter Eggs all around!
There is happiness in the air,
And a warmth in your heart to stay with you,
All through the year!

Happy Easter!


2022 · Places · Rhode Island · USA

Travel Journal: Newport, Rhode Island (Part I)

April 15, 2022

Sara talked for months about going to Rhode Island. Since the girls have Spring Break, I started making plans for the last couple of weeks. Yesterday, Kevin, Sara and I drove to Newport and looked around a little bit. Mainly, we stayed in Thames Street, King Park, King Park Beach, Bowen’s Wharf, Washington Street, and Goat Island. The wind was gusty and cold at Newport Harbor. So, we made it short.

The photos above are from King Park and King Park Beach. Originally, we wanted to see Fort Adams. But we parked the car in Thames Street. And it was a long way to walk to the State Park. So, we took a nice stroll along King Park Beach to get to Rochambeau Statue and Monument. Kevin, Sara and I had a nice view of Newport across Newport Harbor. Newport has tons of wharves. Right now, it is still too early for sailing. But I can imagine the harbor will be full with boats in Summer. Newport also has a lot of history. It would take days to visit all these places and take all the information in. I believe this will be more interesting for Sara, when she’s older and hangs out with her friends. However, she got herself a nice small piece of Amethyst crystal in one of the tourist stores. She loves to collect crystal stones.

… to be continued …

2022 · Places · Rhode Island · Texas · USA

Spring Break 2022

The girls are on Spring Break for Easter and the following week. Katelynn planned a trip to Texas for quite a while. She will spend a week with her boyfriend in Dallas. I wish I could go too. But this is her trip. She planned and paid for it. She will enjoy a week away from her parents and her little sister as well. ๐Ÿ˜„

Meanwhile, Kevin, Sara and I planned some small trips to Rhode Island and New York City as well. The weather is supposed to be okay. A little bit of rain in the forecast won’t keep us away from doing any sightseeing. We will dress accordingly. Sara wants to see the smallest state of the USA. So, we will make a trip to Newport, Rhode Island. And if we are not too tired, we might make a stop in Mystic, Connecticut on our way back home. For Newport we picked several points of interest. We might not even do half of it. But there is a plan to tackle some of them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Ranger, The Golden Retriever-Collie Mix

This week I will introduce my big dog, Ranger, to you. He is a Gollie (Golden Retriever-Collie Mix), very gentle and laid back.

I first met Ranger, when I cleaned a house on a farm in a small town north of Fort Worth. The lady of the house wanted me to help her with the house cleaning bi-weekly. About four weeks after I met Ranger, she introduced me to her fifth dog, Olivia, a cute little Border Collie puppy. Olivia was so sweet. The lady said, her husband found the dog. And they have way too many dogs on the farm. I put a little bit of thought into it, and I made her an offer to adopt Olivia. She then said she couldnโ€™t give me Olivia, because her husband always wanted a Border Collie. And what is the chance that one walks straight to him on a field?

I remembered that she did introduce me to one of her horses two weeks earlier, and Ranger (back then his name was โ€˜Butchaโ€™) walked towards me, sat down and put his paw on my leg. I talked to him for a little bit: โ€œHi, how are you! You are so handsome!โ€ I mentioned to the lady, if he ever becomes a daddy, I want one of the puppies. Heโ€™s so gentle and sweet. She laughed and said: โ€œGood luck with that! Heโ€™s fixed!โ€ Now, I had to laugh, too. He didnโ€™t get out of my mind, while I was cleaning. And I also kept watching him, playing with the other dogs in the yard.

Back to the day, when the house lady introduced me to Olivia, I asked: โ€œSo, what about Butcha?โ€ She looked at me with wide open eyes: โ€œAre you sure, your family will be okay with a big dog?โ€ I called Kevin, had a little conversation with him about Butcha and asked him, if he was okay with me bring home a Golden Retriever-Collie.โ€ He didnโ€™t agree immediately, and he had his doubt, that this big dog has enough room to run around in our backyard. But he replied: โ€œIโ€™ll leave it up to you!โ€ After I hung up, I said to her: โ€œIโ€™ll take Butcha!โ€ โ€œOkay, Butcha it is! Let me bring him to the groomers, so he can show himself from his best side to your family.โ€ She told me his life story, which included that he already had several pre-owners in his young life; and he got shot with a pellet gun by her momโ€™s neighbor in Mississippi, before he ended up on her farm here in Texas.

We put Butcha in the back of my SUV. Before I left with him, I told her his name would be โ€˜Rangerโ€™. She was still uncertain if this was a good idea. She wanted to make sure everyone in my family was okay with the new member. I assured him as good as I could, that he would finally have a good life and would stay with us. Heโ€™s a very good dog, which needs a good fur-ever home.

I arrived with Ranger at home. My neighbor from across the street saw the new dog and asked: โ€œDoes Kevin know about this big dog?โ€ I nodded and told him; Kevin was okay with the new pet. I let Ranger in the house, called Lexi, and something crazy happened. Usually, I see dogs sniffing each other’s rear end, maybe growl a couple of times at each other, and take their sweet time to warm up at one another. But Lexi and Ranger both sat down across from each other. And Lexi fell in love at first sight. She tilted her head, looked all cute as she wanted to say: โ€œHi handsome! Iโ€™m Lexi! Whatโ€™s your name?โ€ Ranger drooled, tried to put himself together and probably stumbled: โ€œHi, my name is โ€ฆ Butcha โ€ฆ hm โ€ฆ Iโ€™m sorry, I canโ€™t remember my new name! โ€ฆ But โ€ฆ you are soooo beautiful!โ€ โ€œThank you Butcha or what your new name might be. We will figure it out later, I guess! Want to go into the backyard?โ€ she asked. โ€œSure โ€ฆ sure, why not? I would love to see the backyard!โ€ he replied. Both walked out to the patio, and Lexi introduced Ranger to her world.

When Kevin and Katelynn came home, I showed them the new dog. Ranger put his paw on Katelynnโ€™s shoulder and touched her nose with his nose. It scared her for a moment, because there was a big dog with big eyes and a big nose all of a sudden. Everything on this dog was much bigger than Lexi. But things turned around quickly. And Katelynn tumbled all over Ranger, while he laid there patiently like a big plush animal. Kevin was still concerned a little bit. He was still not sure if the yard was big enough for Ranger. I said: โ€œHeโ€™ll be alright!โ€

We adopted Ranger in Spring 2006. Now, Ranger will be ten years old. He is still with us. He and Lexi are still โ€˜a coupleโ€™. And he loves the backyard to this day forward.

(March 2015)

Ranger (2005 – 2016)

2022 · Connecticut · Places · USA

The Watertown Center Historical District (Part II)

1) Watertown Green Gazebo; 2) A little bit of Watertownโ€™s history โ€ฆ; 3) The Soldierโ€™s Monument is located at the Manon A. Munson Memorial Park across from the Green Gazebo; 4) This Soldierโ€™s Monument is located next to the Green Gazebo; 5) The bell tower of the Watertown Methodist Church; 6) The bells of the Watertown Methodist Church
2022 · Days of The Week · Wildlife Wednesday

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

This big ‘Honker’ is among our best-known waterfowl. In many regions, flights of Canada Geese passing over in V-formation — northbound in spring, southbound in fall — are universally recognized as signs of the changing seasons. Once considered a symbol of wilderness, this goose has adapted well to civilization, nesting around park ponds and golf courses; in a few places, it has even become something of a nuisance.

The Canada Goose’s habitats are lakes, ponds, bays, marshes, fields. It uses different habitats in different regions; nests near water, winters where feeding areas are within commuting distance of water. Nesting habitats include tundra, fresh marshes, salt marshes, lakes in wooded country. Often feeds in open fields, especially in winter. In recent years, the Canada Goose has been also been resident in city parks, suburban ponds.

Resource: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/canada-goose

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 2008 (Part I)

Kevin, Katelynn and I spent three nights at the Grand Canyon. On the day of arrival, we put up the tent, checked out the Village and looked in the canyon from the South Rim. I remember very well how I reacted when I was standing at the rim for the first time. First, I looked all the way down. I have fear of heights, and for some reason it comforted me looking down. And as I went up with my head looking at this vast Grand Canyon, my jaw stayed in place wide open. My eyes began to water. And I must have been standing there like this for a while. Because Kevin asked me: โ€œWhen are you going to shoot some photos?โ€ Let me say something to you: If you ever need a reality check and you need to come back down to the carpet, go to the Grand Canyon. This is one of the most sacred places, which will definitely put you in your place as a human being on this beautiful planet. We are literally only a speck of dust.

The following day, we did some more hiking at the canyon. Katelynn got a Junior Ranger Patch for doing some research, with the help of her parents of course. Kevin and I learned a lot of fun facts about the canyon and its surrounding area as well. Sometimes it doesnโ€™t need to be explained in adult words. It is nice, when it is as simple that even a 4-year-old can understand it. And we did a little tour with a Park Ranger. We really enjoyed it. And we look at the desert in a whole new way. Before the tour, I thought the desert was a dry, dead place. But the Park Ranger advised us that the desert is very alive.

… to be continued …

2022 · Places · Texas · USA

National Farm Animal Day 2022

A variety of animals have been domesticated and raised on farms for food. They provide eggs, milk, cheese, meat, wool, leather, and other products. Most farmers raise their livestock responsibly. Providing a quality environment for them to grow benefits the animal and the farmer, too. Farmers invest in their livestock from the time theyโ€™re born, providing nutritious food, and ensuring robust and healthy development. They also provide ideal conditions for their breed. Farmers are continually educating themselves about the livestock they raise so they can provide them with the best care possible. 

Resource: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-farm-animals-day-april-10/

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ‘ Happy National Farm Animals Day! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ‡

2022 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut · USA

Echo Lake Park, Watertown, Connecticut In April (1)

After dropping off Sara in school, I drove over to Echo Lake Park. Echo Lake Park is my favorite spot in Watertown. And it is only half a mile from our house. Usually, when I go there, I get greeted by a lot of Canada Geese. Today, there was a lonely goose paddling on the lake. My guess is that the other geese arrived at the park, later. I’m still waiting for the trees to bud and turn green. However, this could take until the end of April into the beginning of May. Connecticut teaches me a lot of patience in nature, for sure.

2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property

After The Rain (1)

Since yesterday afternoon it rained, until this morning. Once the sun rose, fog covered the Naugatuck River Valley in a light blanket. However, it didn’t take long for the sun to burn the fog away. And sunshine came through the rest of the clouds. In our yard, everything was covered in thick pearly raindrops. The day warmed up fast. And we had temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s (15ยฐ – 16โ„ƒ). There is more rain in the forecast for this weekend.


A Rainy Day In Connecticut (2)

It’s been raining all afternoon today. The wind is strong, and it is cool enough to give me chills. I can’t wait for next week’s Spring weather to arrive in New England. Hopefully, we will see more colors in nature. The chilly weather and the beige/grays are getting old now.

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Lexi, The Sheltie

Weโ€™ve got Lexi, when she was a three months old puppy. Katelynn (now 11 years old) was 17 months old, and my husband and I wanted a companion for her. We went to the pet store and looked at some dogs. I have to admit, Lexi wasnโ€™t our first choice, because I had an eye on that cute little Jack Russell Terrier puppy. As a matter of fact, all our pets (except Joshua, one of my Mainecoon cats) were not my first choice. But Iโ€™m glad, I considered them as my pets. And I do love them all very much. A young couple was showing a lot of interest in the Jack Russell Terrier puppy, and so I kept looking until a tricolored Sheltie pup looked into my eyes, as she wanted to tell me: โ€œPick me! Pick me! Pick me!โ€ We observed her in the pin, while we got more information about her from the pet store employee. Katelynn was fascinated with the puppy. She giggled and squeaked, when the pup untied my shoes. Yep, she was the dog I wanted.

At home, Lexi and Katelynn became friends quickly. Katelynn still didnโ€™t want to walk as a 17-months old toddler. But Lexi fixed this in no time. Every time Katelynn sat on the floor, Lexi nipped her ears. Lexi didnโ€™t hurt Katelynn, but it was uncomfortable enough to make Katelynn stand up. Katelynn realized very soon, if she stood up, the puppy couldnโ€™t reach her ears. And Katelynn began to walk. ๐Ÿ’—

Over the last decade Lexi became โ€œthe sister with four pawsโ€ for Katelynn. They did almost everything together. Lexi sat at the door and waited until Katelynn came home from daycare. Katelynn and Lexi played together, they ate ham sandwiches together, took a bath together, and dropped to the floor falling asleep together.

Today, Lexi is over ten years old. Her hair around her nose became white over the years. She gets up and walks a little bit slower. But she is still in good spirits and makes sure everything is under control. She waits for Katelynn to get her homework done, before they go outside and play together. And she still loves it, when Katelynn shares her ham sandwich with the olโ€™ girl.

March 2015

Lexi (2004 – 2019)

2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Our First Daffodil of 2022

First daffodil on a rainy day

Thanks to the previous owner of our house, we have beautiful flowers blooming from Spring to Autumn on our property. The daffodils are one of the bulb flowers we have in the front and the backyard. Since a few days, I’m waiting for them to bloom. And today is the day we have the first open daffodil on the hill in the front yard. It is another day closer to Spring. ๐ŸŒฑ

2022 · Days of The Week · Wildlife Wednesday

European Fallow Deer (Dama dama)

Fallow Deer at the Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky

The European fallow deer also known as the common fallow deer or simply just fallow deer (Dama dama) is a species of ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. It is native to Turkey and possibly the Italian Peninsula, Balkan Peninsula, and the island of Rhodes in Europe but has also been introduced to other parts of Europe and the rest of the world.

Outside of Europe, this species has been introduced to Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Fernando Pรณ, Israel, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Rรฉunion, Sรฃo Tomรฉ, South Africa, the Comoros, the Falk Islands, the Seychelles, Tunesia, and the United States.

Resource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_fallow_deer

2022 · Connecticut · Places · USA

The Eastern Skunk Cabbage At Echo Lake Park

This morning I found Skunk Cabbage in the swamps in the northern part of Echo Lake and Echo Lake Brook. Since the Skunk Cabbage is a Harbinger of Spring, I was very exited to see most of them open to show off their Spadix, which is the seedball inside of the plant. I really like their Bourdeaux speckled with green colored Spathe. When I touched the spade to find out about the texture of the Skunk Cabbage, I definitely knew where they’ve got their name. My fingers had a very light smell of skunk spray. I can’t wait to explore more new plants in the area this Spring.

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA

Barringer Meteor Crater, Arizona 2008

Meteor Crater, also called Barringer Meteorite Crater, Coon Butte, Arizona Meteor Crater, or Canyon Diablo, rimmed, bowl-shaped pit produced by a large meteorite in the rolling plain of the Canyon Diablo region, 19 miles (30 km) west of Winslow, Arizona, U.S. The crater is 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) in diameter and about 600 feet (180 meters) deep inside its rim, which rises nearly 200 feet (60 meters) above the plain. Drillings reveal undisturbed rock beneath 700โ€“800 feet (213โ€“244 meters) of fill. The strata forming the rim of the crater are upturned and covered with the debris of the same bedrock, which shows an inverted stratigraphy.

Discovered in 1891, its age has been variously estimated at between 5,000 and 50,000 years. Large numbers of nickelโ€“iron fragments from gravel size to 1,400 pounds (640 kg) have been found in a 100-square-mile (260-square-kilometre) area. The distribution and composition of several thousand tons of sand-grain size nickelโ€“iron droplets indicate that they condensed from a cloud of metallic vapors. Surveys show only fragments within the pit, but the 1960 discovery there of high-pressure modifications of silica, helped to confirm the craterโ€™s meteoritic origin, a position that had been argued for 27 years by Philadelphia mining engineer D.M. Barringer.

Resource: https://www.britannica.com/place/Meteor-Crater


In May 2008. Kevin, Katelynn and I drove to Amarillo, Texas to get to I-40, which brought us through Albuquerque, New Mexico again. And from there it wasnโ€™t too far to get to Arizona. We wanted to visit the Petrified Forest National Park first. But we arrived in Arizona in the wee hours of the morning. So, we decided to keep driving and take that National Park on the way back home.

Around 6 am, we arrived at the Barringer Meteor Crater. Katelynn just woke up in her car seat. And we still had two hours to wait, before the place operated. After we ate some breakfast we had in the cooler, I put some warmer clothes on top of my shirt and shorts on. It gets an itsy bitsy more frigid in the desert and at the higher altitude. Katelynn and I walked around for a little bit, while Kevin took a short nap behind the stirring wheel. (No worries! The Jeep was parked by the gate.) After sitting in the car for so long, it was nice to stretch out our muscles. I took a good look at the rim of the crater, and noticed how massive it was seeing it just from outside.

At eight oโ€™clock the gate opened, and we could access the parking lot at the crater. After we paid the entry fee, we looked at some neat stuff, like the Apollo Test Capsule, the โ€œWindow to the Desertโ€, and the biggest fragment that has been found from the meteor, which impacted the area. While we waited for our tour guide, we could look outside a window to see the crater. Kevin and my jaws dropped. With being about 3,900ft (1,200m) in diameter and some 560ft (170m) deep, it is a huge hole in the ground. The tour guide told us stories about the impact of the meteor, a plane crash in 1964, Mr. Barringerโ€™s findings, and the NASA training for the Apollo Missions to the Moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The tour and the higher elevation made us hungry. We decided to have lunch at the Subway inside the center, before we traveled to the canyon. By the time we arrive, our camping lot should be ready.

… to be continued …


National & World Days 2022 (1) ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ€๐Ÿš™

While Vitamin C is widely recognized for warding off colds, the vitamin is also clinically proven to be a powerhouse in other areas of health, too. For example, Vitamin C may reduce blood pressure and potentially lower the risk of heart disease. Those at risk of gout can lower that risk by increasing their intake of Vitamin C. Topically, Vitamin C keeps skin healthy by protecting it from oxidative damage caused by daily exposure to light, heat, and pollution. The popularity of topical vitamin C products has risen dramatically. /

Fresh air and warmer temperatures lure us outdoors, and what better way to experience the thrill of an excursion than in a Jeep 4ร—4. Whether itโ€™s up rocky slopes or through muddy trails, Jeep vehicles let you take the adventure to a whole new level. Crossing creeks, touring valleys, and maneuvering through rocky terrain are just part of the trek. You can see lost history and beautiful vistas in a Jeep brand vehicle. Get away with friends for the day or take off for a week by yourself to refuel. This celebration reminds us that every day was meant for adventure! /

Rats are so smart that some people keep them as pets. Besides being easy to care for, rats are easily tamed. Rats are also very curious, social, and full of personality. These characteristics make these rodents excellent pets. Rat owners should know that like most pets, these animals need their exercise. Owners should take them out of the cage at least once a day for about an hour.

Happy National Vitamin C Day!
Happy National Jeep 4×4 Day!
Happy World Rat Day!

Resource: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/april-overview/

2022 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut · Places · USA

Hiking In Mount Tom State Park, Washington Depot, Connecticut

Mt. Tom is one of the oldest parks in the state park system; it is named for the mountain within its boundaries. In 1915 it was established as a state park. There is a stone tower on top of the mountain that is a favored destination among hikers. The summit of Mt. Tom is 1325 feet above sea level, 125 feet higher than its Massachusetts counterpart. The tower trail is less than one mile long and rises some 500 feet.

Kevin, Katelynn and I rode to Washington Depot to take a hike in Mount Tom State Park. The hiking trail was pretty steep in some areas. But as a reward, we could go up Mount Tom Tower and have a nice scenic view over Mount Tom Pond and the surrounding area. It was very windy at the summit. So, we decided not to stay up there for too long. On our way back, we saw some cool plants. One was a tree, which grew its roots around some big rocks, while at another spot of the trail a Striped Wintergreen plant poked its head out of the brown foliage. Since we were at the park, we visited Mount Tom Pond Beach. The wind made little ripples in the water. But the water is still ice cold.

2022 · Connecticut · Places · USA

The Watertown Center Historical District (Part I)

Built in 1894, this classic structure is nothing short of a historic treasure. Throughout the first half of its life in particular, it was the very center of Watertown life for many generations. Hundreds of town meetings held here resulted in decisions that affected everyday life in our community. Court hearings were held here, marriage licenses were issued, and this is where everyone gathered to celebrate the end of WWI. In Summer 2020, the town has moved on to a new Town Hall. The fate of this landmark is unclear. Its history remains our common legacy.

Resource: http://watertownhistorymuseum.org/which-town-hall/


Ozzy’s 3rd Birthday

Our family remembers, when we adopted Ozzy (or he adopted us). He was a three months old kitten. Now, he’s three years old. Ozzy is still a kitten at heart. His favorite part of the day is to play-fight with Benny, our Norwegian Forest Cat, or play tag with Zoey, our Labrador/Pitbull mix. When he wants to play alone, he regularly steals Sara’s hairbands and has a blast with them pushing and kicking them around, until they end up under the refrigerator or under the recliner. When Ozzy wants to watch birds, he usually finds a way on top of our miniature greenhouses to look out the sunroom’s windows. He can be quite a bit mischievous. But we love him so much.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Ozzy!


Hello April 2022!


Spring Peach Tree
April Songbirdsโ€™ joyful music, and the early springtime flowers,
Colorful umbrellas opened wide for April showers.
Days are brighter, hearts are lighter, promise fills the air โ€“
The gifts of April bring us special happiness to share.