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Sunshine en Route

Eastern_BluebirdFor the Daily Prompt: Song

The jonquils have bloomed, the tulips showed their happy faces, the grass is greener and greener and the bees are busy welcoming Spring to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley!

And though I cannot carry a tune, I carry around a song.

“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”

Music by Allie Wrubel
Lyrics by Ray Gilbert
Performed by James Baskett
© 1945 Walt Disney Music Company

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, feeling this way

Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It is the truth, it’s actual… huh?
Where is that bluebird? Mm-hm!
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!

From Wikipedia:  For many years the song was part of an opening theme medley for the Wonderful World of Disney television program and it has often been used in other TV and video productions by the studio.  It is one of many popular songs that feature a bluebird.  Today, this song is used as the main song in Splash Mountain, a log flume ride based on “Song of the South” at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Original Version:

 

 

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We were in Baltimore, Maryland and enjoying breakfast.

Discussing sightseeing adventures might have been a good topic of conversation.

Instead we were concentrating on Naming An Unidentified Floating Object we could see out the window!

The “thing” was a giant water wheel with no familiar or observable purpose.

Being rather shy and reserved people (from the Virginia countryside) we are usually hesitant to ask questions.  But the temptation was too great, so Bill finally asked the restaurant manager, “What is that thing?”

Not being shy or reserved, the manager gave us a mini-history lesson.

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Inner Harbor Water Wheel, Baltimore, Maryland

“That is a water cleaner, said the Manager.”  It has been here for four years.  People would dump things in the water and it was 80% polluted.  Now it is 40% polluted.  The goal is to make the water in the Inner Harbor swimmable by 2020.  Very young engineers maintain the project and it costs almost nothing to run.”

“Does it have a name?” I asked.

“What is that shell you hold to your ear?….you know – a Conch!” he said.

I decided to look up the conch shell water cleaner when we got home, but couldn’t find a thing until I began looking up Cleaning Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.    If it is called a CONCH, I find no reference to it, but here is what I did find:

The Mystery Barge is called the Water Wheel or Mr. Trash Wheel or officially – The Inner Harbor Water Wheel.  It is a hydro and solar-powered barge parked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor since 2014, slurping up all garbage that makes its way downriver.  And it uses nothing but the current and the sun!

Historic ship manager, John Kellett, was getting sick of watching garbage in the rivers on his way to work, so he invented this giant floating wheel that turns with the current.  It places trash from the harbor onto an on-board conveyor belt which then routes it into dumpsters on board.

The “Wheel” is part of a Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Plan which has a goal to clean up the harbor enough to make it safe for swimming by 2020!

Baltimore Polluted Harbor

Before Mr. Trash Wheel

On April 20, 2015, Mr. Trash Wheel removed 19 tons of garbage in that one day.  And at the end of the first quarter in 2016 it was noted that the Wheel had collected over 1,000,000 pounds of trash since its inception.

The ingenuity of man seems boundless and The Thing in Baltimore Harbor restores my faith in our ability to clean up our own messes and make life pure again.

Now if only we could figure out how to control traffic!

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Baltimore, MD -The View from our room.

I am home from a Big City-BigFoot adventure and happy to be alive and well.

Baltimore is a beautiful old Maryland city, with more than enough to do if you are young, agile, and don’t mind horrific traffic in the inner city.

Strike “young.”

Strike “agile.”

As for the traffic?

A nightmare!

But we somehow got where we were going in spite of white knuckle rides and hysterical screaming at our GPS lady and maybe one or two jabs at each other (to say nothing of unacceptable language).

For solace, we turned to food.

Have you ever had Maryland crab cakes?  They are the best and of course I had to have crab at Phillips’ famous seafood restaurant.  It was just around the block from the hotel, but may as well have been on Mars.

445 Crab Cake Plattercrp1

I am back to driving challenges again!  Sigh.

 

But of course, the original purpose of our visit to Baltimore was for an appointment with an expert orthopedic doctor at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy.

And a wonderful doctor did spend a whole hour with us, discussing, analyzing, offering advice and answering many questions.

In a nutshell, this Gimpy Gal (me, Big Foot) simply (or maybe not) has an injured “talus” bone that may take a long time to heal.

So it was back to frolicking in Baltimore!

We frolicked over to the Whole Foods place and actually started to get lost in the garage.  But we somehow frolickedstumbled into the place and found the six loaves of decadent bread I wanted so badly!

We would surely not starve with all that in the car right?

At breakfast next morning we managed some exciting sight seeing by looking out the window next to our table (no driving required).

There was a mysterious tent-covered barge-like THING with a giant water wheel and it was parked and floating in the harbor basin, and the big water wheel seemed to turn of its own accord when and if it wanted to.

We took turns guessing what the mysterious barge might be.

And I wondered why technology wouldn’t let me take a picture and ask Google to please identify the unidentified object.  Why couldn’t I just say, “Hey Google, What is this?”

Whatever it was though,  it made for great conversation over pancakes!

Can YOU guess what it really is?

This is the unidentified floating object.

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To be continued….

 

 

 

 

Did you think the BigFoot saga was over?   Nope.

‘Tis not the case.

Thanks to internet searching, “the Foot” found another set of experts in ankle disorders.

“Mercy me!”

That’s an old fashioned way of saying, “Really?”. 

How far is one expected to go anyway to find a proactive healing plan?”

Well, Bill and I went off to Baltimore, Maryland on a 5 hour car trip (plus a pit stop and lunch) and got a place for a few nights on the Inner Harbor!  We planned to combine serious business with some BigFoot Frolicking in the big city!

Leaving our little country home in rural  Virginia even for a few days meant the excitement was feverish.

Just think!  We had to navigate our way around  traffic and sky scrapers (we get lost in parking garages).

And although it may sound strange to some, the Number One attraction on my list was Whole Foods supermarket for the express purpose of buying 6 loaves of real bread.

Talk about frolicking!

But seriously, our ultimate destination was The Institute for Foot and Ankle Restoration at Mercy (hospital).  Their web site is beyond professional and they answer the phone in two rings and offer second opinions.  I wondered, “Can they give me a qualified opinion on how to heal?”

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Mercy Medical Center

Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland

Be still my heart!  Look at all those big buildings!

More on BigFoot Frolicking to be continued…….

 

The relationship between peanuts and baseball goes all the way back to when a peanut company bought ad space on the back of scorecards in 1898.  The snack was a big hit in stadiums, and only a few years later, in 1908, the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball game” featured the line, “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”, which has forever united the two American traditions in the public mind.”   From WRAL.com

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I can still hear the peanut man calling!

When I was a young girl my family went to evening baseball games at a local park.  There was always a man climbing the bleachers and calling out in a singsong voice.  He had a carrier full of warm delicious peanuts. The aroma alone was to swoon for.  And twenty-five cents would buy a little brown bag.

Years later I discovered I could roast my own peanuts and duplicate the flavor.

If you are a new guest at our house, you might mistake the peanuts for garden variety supermarket Ho- Hums, but if you politely taste one, guaranteed you will be asking questions.

Apologies if you are allergic though!

The recipe is simple but start with shelled, blanched, raw peanuts.  I get mine at a place called “The Cheese Shop” in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  You have probably guessed they carry a lot more than cheese.   xslider-1140x460.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ADbx5syzP8Cheese Shop_0

And Bill and I are going there tomorrow to stock up!

Recipe for Dor’s Home Roasted Peanuts  Ingredients:  1-2 lbs shelled, raw, blanched peanuts; 1 tsp butter (or I use coconut oil); Salt to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spread all the peanuts in a rimmed pan (I use the bottom of my oven broiler pan).
  3. Bake on middle rack for about 6 minutes and then stir everything around. 
  4. Bake 6 minutes more and stir again. 
  5. Repeat #4 two more times. 
  6. Peanuts are done when they are a deep golden brown color. 
  7. While still hot add the butter (don’t be tempted to add more than a teaspoon or they will be too greasy).  The purpose of the butter is to provide a coating the salt can stick to. 
  8. Salt to taste. 
  9. I freeze mine and bring them out in small quantities as needed. 

 

 

 

 

Fading Fotos

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Years ago I created a collage

of favorite photographs.

I glued them in a haphazard way on top of a big old ugly $15 dime store print that once hung over our couch.

Even now I think it was a great idea and I remember pasting away and thinking, “How artistic if I do say so myself!”

I loved it so much that I eventually had the collage framed and was assured the priceless photographs were safely under protective glass.

“This collage of family and friends will live on through generations,” I thought.

And yes, that inventive impressive self indulgent collage is over the desk in Bill’s “office.”

And every now and then I look once again at a dimming past.

Literally!

Some of the photos are not only dimming,

they are disappearing!  

Many of those faded fotos in my collage were taken with an early Polaroid camera in the 1960’s or maybe even earlier.  The miracle was that the camera itself would process a picture and spit it out for at you.  Then you waved it in the air and blew on it to “set” things – or at least I did.

I suppose being under glass and exposed to sunlight would “unset” or affect images.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have shaken the photo to hurry things along.

Is there a Polaroid camera now with a re-set button?

I want to hit RE-SET!

The fading fotos from yesteryear are following my life cycle and we will all fade away together.

Are you watching your life fade away too?

If you are wondering if they even make Polaroid cameras anymore, the answer is Yes!  Instant film is coming back into popularity!

From Polaroid’s Comeback, by Mark Rogers, Photographer: “Polaroid cameras have recently been coming out of storage. …With instant film so popular, there are now once again hundreds of these small, square-shaped photographs around — and your favorites should be preserved and displayed the right way. Just like standard photographs and prints, instant film can suffer the same damage as standard film. However, a little more care should be taken when handling the still-developing film — according to Polaroid, the more closely the photographer followed the instructions, the longer the photo will last. Tip: Shaking the photo does not help a Polaroid develop faster. In fact, it could actually damage the developing photograph!…Standard photography preservation practices apply: keep the photos away from light, heat and moisture; most organizations maintain that Polaroids will fade in as just as much time as conventional photographs…”  

 

Winter Rerun

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It’s back!

Winter that is,

a Springtime ReRun.

Good Morning Virginia, March 21, 2018.

 

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