Good morning! Welcome to "Morning Musings".

Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

This & That - December 2016

December had us out and about more than usual.  Here are a few of them, including a few animal encounters.  Our first outing was to attend a retirement party for a friend on a restaurant boat as it floated up and down the Potomac River.  You can see the lights of Washington, DC here when we took a short, brisk walk around the deck.  Because it was dark outside and we were moving slowly you could hardly tell you were on a boat from inside.  This was empasized when putting on our coats to make this little jaunt around the deck--our hostess asked us if we were leaving already 😊. . . .

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Bells Across the Snow

“The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday,
… Out in the fields with God.”
--Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Monday, December 12, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - December

We are back in Near Sawrey this month as we wrap up our year-long tour of Beatrix Potter's Lake District with Jemima Puddle-duck.  Jemima really wanted to take you shopping at Ginger & Pickles, the shop run by her friends Ginger the cat and Pickles the terrier.  But, alas, she has a tale of woe to tell us instead. . . . .
From: The History of the Writings of Beatrix Potter

QUACK!  I was all set to take you shopping for Christmas gifts but instead I have a very sad tale to tell you  QUACK!  Here is a map that shows the shop of Ginger & Pickles. . . .

Monday, December 5, 2016

More or Less - December 2016 we are almost to the end of 2016.  At the beginning of the year I started our conversation about the path our year would take. . . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - November

I hope you haven't minded having to stay at Derwentwater since October because I only realized later that I had not told you that Jemima would be staying on until this month!  If you did not want to stay you would have had to find your own way back to Near Sawrey, so I apologize profusely if that was, indeed, what you had to do!  Today Jemima will be taking us on a tour of Cat Bells.  You can see it on the map (lower left corner) just south of Lingholm and west of Owl (St. Herbert's) Island where we were last month with Squirrel Nutkin. . . .

Saturday, November 5, 2016

More or Less - November 2016

I've been thinking more about the past lately because I'm realizing I have more time behind me and less time ahead of me.  Today is the 50th anniversary of when my husband and I first laid eyes on each other.  I was 16 and he was 20. I had no idea that day he'd ask me out later in the week and that I'd fall in love with him.  Seven months later I moved out of state with my parents.  We almost didn't meet.  This got me to thinking about my Hungarian grandparents and how they met.  This was their wedding day in 1920. . . .

Monday, October 31, 2016

This & That - October 2016

October has turned out to be mostly about animals in our yard.  First it was these two bucks that I saw one morning outside my desk window. . . .

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - October

Between 1885 and 1907 the Potters spent nine summers at Lingholm along Derwentwater.  Beatrix was free to wander in the woods.  Here she could let her imagination play.  It was the summer of 1901 that she first did the sketches for today's story.  In this photo from the movie "Miss Potter" you can see St. Herbert's Island, which became Owl Island in Beatrix's story. . . .

credit:  Momentum Pictures

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Scenes from Playa del Carmen

Our last two days in Mexico were spent in Playa del Carmen, just an hour south of Cancun where we'd need to catch a late-morning flight home.  Our small hotel was just 7 blocks from the beach so we walked down the first evening and again the next morning hoping to catch the sunrise.  We missed it by about 15 minutes, but it was still a lovely time to walk along the shore before the crowds.  I've collected a few scenes to share. . . .


Thank you for coming along with me on my Mexico adventure!  Be sure to check out my Take Joy Society post where I share more of my experiences in Mexico.

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mayan History & Culture - Part 2

Francisco de Montejo y León, "el Mozo" (the younger), founded the city of Mérida, Mexico when in 1542 he led the conquest of the Yucatán and built his house there.  We toured the house (Museo Casa Montejo) which was built using the stones of the Mayan pyramids that were destroyed. . . .

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

More or Less - October 2016


Elizabeth Gilbert begins her book, Big Magic, with this Q&A:

Q.  What is creativity?
A.  The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of                    inspiration.

Friday, September 30, 2016

This & That - September 2016

I'm very happy to report that Olivia's Poppi (our daughter-in-law's father) is doing quite well.  His tests after four chemotherapy treatments give us great hope that he may beat the dire prognosis after all.  Here is Olivia crossing the bridge to the Faerie Door in the Enchanted Woods on one of her visits. . . .

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - September

Today Jemima will lead the way around Esthwaite Water to the west and head north to Hawkshead as she tells us the Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse.  You will recognize the archway below in Hawkshead from Beatrix's drawing in today's story.  The interior drawings were of Dr. and Mrs. Bolton's house.  Dr. Bolton played golf with Mr. Heelis on a course they had built in Sawrey for their own use, and Mrs. Bolton received vegetables from Sawrey each week and sent back laundry.  That is a bag of golf clubs Johnny Town-Mouse is carrying on the book's cover photo.  The house-maid who discovers Timmy Willie in the basket is Mrs. Rogerson who worked for the Potter family when they stayed at Ees Wyke. . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mayan History and Culture - Part 1

Today I will be taking you to the Mayan ruins in Izamal and Uxmal, but first we'll visit el Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Merida (the Maya Museum in Merida). . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Eats Shops and Buildings

Proper punctuation makes all the difference.  I did not eat shops and buildings!  This post is about eating and shopping and the beautiful buildings in Mexico.  And when you're in a foreign country the way you pronounce a word can make all the difference, too.  For instance, Bebe means "it drinks" and bebé means "baby."  Fortunately, Ken knew enough Spanish to get us around and our son and daughter-in-law speak it fluently and were with us on several occasions.  Other times a stranger would help us translate.

Getting around Merida was easy and inexpensive with the readily available cabs.  Understanding how to shop and what to eat was another matter.  I've shown you where we slept in Merida.  Now I'll show you where we ate and shopped, as well as the architecture we passed on the street as we walked to the shops and restaurants.  I've already mentioned we shopped at a Mexico-made guaybera shirt shop the first night we arrived.  We were soon to learn that overly-helpful people were receiving commissions to steer customers to certain shops where the prices were often higher.  My first advice on shopping is look around before you buy so you can compare.  You will see many of the same items in most of the shops or in the street markets like the market set up in the Grand Plaza every Sunday.  You may also want to have a calculator on hand to help you compare the pesos price to dollars.  I was constantly trying to divide the price by 18 (the exchange rate) in my head.   These slippers were  $180 pesos--$10 USD, an easy calculation. . . .

Monday, September 5, 2016

More or Less - September 2016

Some of you expressed a desire to see my new haircut when I wrote about it in July.  I said I got it cut shorter because it was too hot on my neck and I didn't like having to wear it up because it made me look like a granny.  I didn't mention then that part of the reason was because I was going to Mexico in August and knew it would be hot and humid there.  NOW I know why women south of the border usually have long hair and no bangs--so they can pull it totally off their forehead and neck and restrain it in a neat bun!  This is what MY hair looked like in Mexico. . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Gran Hotel - Merida, Mexico

The Gran Hotel in Merida, Mexico is the oldest hotel in Merida.  Opened in 1901 the "French neo-Classic architecture attracted many movie producers and photographers.  Guest book entries range from Fidel Castro to Charles Lindbergh, from Douglas Fairbanks to Cesar Augusto Sandino."

Monday, August 29, 2016

This & That - August 2016

The month of August was all about the trip we took from the 13th to the 23rd.  Gabriel had gotten pretty shaggy, but I was waiting to have his hair cut because he was going to be staying at Olivia's house for the 10 days we were away.  This way they wouldn't have to brush him everyday. . .

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - August

I hope you are having a pleasant summer!  It is beautiful here in the Lake District.  Jemima is going to continue on the south road around Esthwaite Water that Pig Blanding took at the signpost. . . . 
photo credit: Nigel Whitehouse/Guzelian

Thursday, August 4, 2016

More or Less - August 2016

After an extremely hot and humid July, with more of the same predicted for August, I find myself wanting less of summer and more of winter. . . .

Saturday, July 30, 2016

This & That - July 2016

July began with a get-together of our sons and their families to celebrate two birthdays plus the two we missed in the Spring when the babies were born.  While Olivia June was here I showed her the new bridge in the Enchanted Woods leading to the Faerie door. . . .

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - July

Hello, Everyone.  It's a beautiful day in the Lake District.  I see Jemima Puddle-duck over there chatting with Pigling Bland. . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bowman House

John Bowman was a potter who lived and worked in Boonsboro, Maryland, in the latter part of the 1800s.  The Bowman family had emigrated from Germany in the late 1700s and settled in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  One of the sons moved down into Washington County, Maryland.  It is that son's son, John, who purchased this log home in 1868 and established Boonsboro Pottery. . . .

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More or Less - July 2016

Let's talk hair!  I just got my hair cut shorter last week because I can't stand it on my neck in this hot, humid weather.  What compelled me to do it was I'd just seen a photo of myself, taken from the side, with my hair up in a bun (because of the heat) and decided I wasn't ready to look like a granny.....even though I was holding my newest grandchild.  The photo also drove home the fact that I'll never look like I did in 1974 when I wore my hair the longest it's ever been, no matter how long I let my hair grow now. . . .

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This & That - June 2016

With two new grandsons we found ourselves babysitting twice as much this month.  In between we managed to have several outings.  This one was in Shepherdstown, WV, about 35 minutes from us.  It's a small college town with a quaint downtown.  Whenever I'm there I love to pop into this French boutique. . . .

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - June

Welcome back!  Last month we followed Jemima up to Oatmeal Crag where Tommy Brock and Mr. Tod had it out when Tommy Brock had the audacity to break into Mr. Tod's house and sleep in his bed!  This month's walk should prove to be a little less "exciting," but it does have its moments.  We'll begin this month's walk again at Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey. . . .

We will be passing Buckle Yeat where Ribby the cat lives.   Jemima has a tale to tell us about a most unfortunate outcome to a tea party. . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lightning Safety Week - June 19 - June 25, 2016


I just wanted to remind everyone to BE SAFE when it comes to lightning.  We had quite a thunderstorm last Wednesday, along with high winds.  This is an update of a post from a storm we had in 2013. . . . 

All's quiet now but two hours ago this is what it looked like from my front window....
....and from my front porch....

Monday, June 6, 2016

More or Less - June 2016

Because of all the rain we had this Spring I have had more roses than usual.  And because I'm taking time every morning to pick weeds and deadhead I seem to have less work to do in my garden this year.  One of the things I've noticed about my roses is how they change color as they open fully. . . .


Sunday, May 29, 2016

This & That - May 2016

A little of This and a little of That this month!  For Mother's Day two of my sons sent me the same card!  It was the blank kind so they'd each written their own sentiment.  But that's not all that was serendipitous.  They say you tend to purchase gifts you would like.  Well, it worked for me.  The Lemon Verbena bath items were given to me by Ken.  I'd bought the same thing for one of our daughters-in-law unbeknownst to him. . . . 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beyond the Garden Gates - 2016

This year, because of the 🎶rain🎶, we split the Frederick Beyond the Garden Gates tour into two days hoping the second day we wouldn't get drenched.  But that was not to be.  It did make for some great photographs, though.  Gardens always look better in the rain.  Plus, it wasn't a thunderstorm so it all worked out.  Saturday we toured the houses that required driving between houses beginning with this one.  I'm including the tour booklet's write-up for each house we toured.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - May

Folks, you'll be glad to know Jemima has hatched her four ducklings and is ready to begin our tour of the Lake District.

I've provided our map once again just in case Jemima gets sidetracked, as she so often does.  She'll be taking us down the path from Hill Top, turning left onto to the main road, then a right up Stones Lane past Belle Green and Castle Cottage to Oatmeal Crag. . . .

Thursday, May 5, 2016

More or Less - May 2016

This is the page I pull up when I open Safari on my computer.  It lists the sites I frequently visit so that I can just click on the icon to go directly there. . . .

Did you notice what's missing?  Several of my web journals are listed as well as Blogger Dashboard--that's where I go to moderate comments that don't come directly to my e-mail inbox.  I'll give you a little more time to look at the list. . . .

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - April

If you are a first time visitor to this monthly Beatrix Potter & Friends post, you may want to view the earlier posts first:  January   February   March

It has come to my attention that our guide, Miss Jemima Puddle-Duck is otherwise occupied with nest sitting.  I am told that Mrs. Cannon, the caretaker's wife, has agreed to let Jemima hatch her own eggs after her earlier near-disastrous attempt.  So, we must content ourselves with a story about two bad mice in the meantime.

Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca were Beatrix's pet mice.  She'd rescued them from a cage trap at her cousin Caroline's in 1903 and wrote a story about them while there during a week of relentless rain.  Later, Norman Warne would provide her a photograph of the doll house he was building his niece, Winifred.  Beatrix's mother would not allow her to visit Warne's brother's home to see it for herself.  One commentator on the story felt, "The tale's themes of rebellion, insurrection, and individualism reflect not only Potter's desire to free herself of her domineering parents and build a home of her own, but her fears about independence and her frustrations with Victorian domesticity."  You can read Beatrix's letters, below, concerning the ordeal. . . .

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

More Or Less - April 2016

This past weekend we were in Phoenix, AZ to attend a family wedding.  The next day Ken's brother and sister-in-law took us to the Desert Botanical Garden where we spent the day into the evening walking the paths or sitting in the shade.  There was lots in bloom which really put me in the mood to get into my garden.  Unfortunately, we came home to a freeze warning, so I will have to wait a few more weeks before I head for the garden center.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

More or Less - March

This month I'm glad to report I have LESS in my house.  I started  my decluttering project, finally, after Marie Kondo's book, "Spark Joy," became available at the library.  I posted this picture in last month's Out and About of all the things I'd collected for my kids to look through before I disposed of everything. . . .

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Year with Beatrix Potter & Friends - February

As you may recall last month Jemima Puddle-Duck agreed to be our guide for our walks in the Lake District. . . .

Friday, February 5, 2016

More or Less - February

I've not been very successful with my "Less" list, but I have made some progress with my "More" list.  January was largely devoted to children's books and my desire to illustrate mine.  To that end I've been drawing more in preparation for my monthly Beatrix Potter post. . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Several of my readers have inquired of our situation here in Maryland after Winter Storm Jonas blew through on Friday night and into Saturday evening.  We are fine--no loss of power even--and are in the process of digging out.  I thought I'd share the experience with those who were not in its path and give those who were a chance to share their experience in the comments section.

Friday, 4:45 PM:  The snow started two hours ago--earlier than predicted.  Really looking forward to seeing some snow this winter. . . .

Saturday, January 2, 2016

More or Less - January

The Way

Welcome to my new monthly feature: More or Less.  It replaces my View Outside My Window series.  This will still be my "conversation" post where I invite you to answer the question that's been on my mind.  But the photo will be from my photo library of photos that have something in common with each other and relates to my question in some way.  This month the photos are of paths. . . .