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Belated Birthday; Shake It, Baby! Vegetable Matters; Quiz Winner; Bike Trails; Elvis’ Lover???

Der Blogmeister had a brain fart recently, and forgot to include photographic proof of taking His Lovely Bride to dinner for her birthday. Several readers have asked whether I took her to Denny’s or Five Guys… I was terribly insulted by such accusations. Those fine restaurants are saved for Very Special Occasions. In fact, MLB and I dined at the Mount Washington Hotel, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Built in 1902 in Spanish Renaissance style, this is truly one of America’s grand old hotels.

Of course, birthdays must be accompanied by presents, and Suzanne was thrilled by the outfit that Rudy and Gretchen had picked out for her. They had done lots of research on what would look good on their Dog-Mom…


… but the highlight for Rudy was helping unwrap the presents. This has been a tradition since he was a little puppy, and every holiday we celebrate with gifts requires that the R-Dog be allowed to help tear open the paper wrappers. Gretchen simply looks on with awe and wonder while Rudy shreds paper all over the floor and couch. 

Speaking of prezzies, I was happy to receive this thoughtful gift from friends Joyce and Sharon back in The Villages. Knowing that Suzanne was going to be away presenting several workshops across the country, they didn’t want me to be lonely. This shapely young hula dancer has some excellent moves, and with some sunlight, is almost a perpetual motion machine; she is being very coy and hasn’t given me her name yet, though…

“Vegetable Matters” has the ring of a produce market or a greengrocer’s wares. What it means in this instance is the identity of two photos in a recent blog. The photos of a Tawny Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva) and Golden Chanterelles (Cantherellus cibarius), seen in Vermont and New Hampshire, were identified by two floral experts among our Loyal Readers. The winner of this week’s quiz is Gayle Hancock; Honorable Mention goes to Colette Sasina, who also identified the plants in question after Gayle’s entry was received. 

We had dinner recently with an old Navy shipmate of mine from Battleship IOWA (BB-61). Drew and Pat Beck live in Bethlehem (NH, not Israel), in a restored 1901 home in a quiet neighborhood. It was great catching up after many years – we shared memories of shipboard life from the mid-80s. Pat recently retired from running an embroidery business. We told them about The Villages after hearing that this past winter gave them thoughts about moving south.


Since Suzanne returned from Florida, we have been on several bike rides. One of our favorites was on the trail from Falmouth to Woods Hole, MA, with Mike and Beth Pasakarnis. It runs along Vineyard Sound and has nice views of salt marshes, ponds and of course the sea. 

We also saw several osprey (Pandion haliaetis) nests along the trail; these two young birds were peering down at the people below with only mild interest. Ospreys are also known as fish hawks. They can actually reverse their outer talons to better grip slippery fish. The genus name Pandion is after the mythical Greek king Pandion of Athens and grandfather of Theseus, who was transformed into an eagle. The specific epithet haliaetis is derived from a Greek word for fishery eagle. 

Finally, marital communications are difficult enough without the wind in one’s ears.  There was a “What did he say?” moment while biking that made us all laugh. We were riding along and I asked Suzanne, about 15 feet behind me, “What was the name of that doctor whose wife fell and broke her pelvis?” She replied, “What?!”  I repeated the question and she said, “Ty, I thought you said, ‘What was the name of that doctor whose wife fell in love with Elvis!”

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