DREAM

The Gathering Place

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Cherry tree in full blossomed glory

When you live in Western New York and on top of a hill as we do, Spring can be long in coming and short in duration. Trees and flowers at the bottom of the hill on either side, has perhaps already bloomed two weeks ago. Forty-five minutes or so from us, the famous Rochester, NY Lilac Festival ended last week and our lilacs are barely budding. The winds are strong and fierce here, across the 100’s of acres of farmland in back and in front of our home. Winter is long here and is so often, accompanied by snow drifts several feet high, all around us. Atop the the hill, it seems an ideal place for the wind and rain and snow to blow and fly. It is what it is and unless you take this as complaining, it is more, just my observations.

My wife Susan and I, frequently gather on our small and narrow front porch. It was originally built as a two-season room with screens and storms and a screen-storm door. We thought replacing these with thermal pane, dual-glass windows and the door, would extend our usable time here. But the floor has no insulation and is built over a crawl space. Having so much of a wall of glass, there is not really room for much insulation there. And there is probably not much if any, above the ceiling.

We added a little electric heater that looks like a wood burning stove and it warms the room nice and toasty, while adding to our electric bill, considerably. But we love this room! Children, friends, family, Bella our cat and Lady our dog, and our seven grandchildren, love this room. Notice the many toys and Bella on one of the chairs, in the picture below. 🙂

Other than changing the windows, the door, adding a heater and installing an oak-look floating laminate floor, it really has not changed much, since Susan’s Mother and Father lived here. They were the first occupants since the place was built, in 1973. When the porch was enclosed or added-on (I’m not sure which),  her father installed rough-sawn paneling and the ceiling fan we still use today. I can say for myself and think it true for Susan too, it is our favorite room, in all our home!

Our Favorite Room
Sunrise and bird good morning

Most of the furniture has been in the family, for many years. The couch and two chairs were refinished, repaired and re-covered with a blue-jean color, cotton jean-like material. The couch has at times and the floor next to it, has been covered with napping bodies of friends and family. Other furniture is also, family heirloom. Family pictures and military paraphernalia adorn the interesting wall of carefully designed and saw-cut paneling, and are a continual tribute to the man that built this porch, Susan’s Dad. The room is nothing fancy or expensive. It is comfortable, just wonderfully comfortable!

Susan and I often gather here in the morning with our coffee and look out and watch the birds. We also gather here for drinks at Happy Hour, around 5 PM. These are those special times we share together and converse about life and are still getting to learn something new about one another. I call these times, ‘Sips with Susan’! 🙂

Whenever I finish my book, ‘The Gathering Place Feast Book’ (How anyone can turn their home into a five-star culinary experience), under the category of beverages, it too will be called, ‘Sips with Susan’. 🙂

But, for the long wait of spring at the top of the hill, at ‘The Gathering Place’, I came up with not a bit solace, for a sorrowed soul, but anticipation, for whenever Spring in full arrives and for how little in time it may last? For myself, while waiting for anything, any little subtle changes, anything new, it causes me to get excited and my heart all twitter-patted, in anticipation and appreciation!

“They who wait for Spring the longest, appreciate it the most!”

-dahni-

Our lilacs just coming
Azalea just this morning
Susan’s birthday sculpture – hummingbird made with spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Susan, just this morning, during ‘Sips with Susan’, wrote the following. It captures it all perfectly, from our little comfy-cozy porch, atop the hill at The Gathering Place.

Our red-bud is almost ready

 

 

 

The Gathering Place

By Susan Meech Hayden
©️ 2019, all rights reserved

Our Gathering Place, on top the hill we wait at morn or eve
For sun to rise, burst forth and shine, then sink to take its leave.
Sometimes the sun plays hide and seek in clouds of grey or white
Or mist and fog might cover the fields and stretch beyond our sight.
Our little home, through nature’s powers,
We sit content, because it’s ours.
Oh, from our hill the stage is set for every kind of weather
The blustery winds, the snow and cold, but we stay warm together
We wait for spring’s array of colors beneath the sullen skies
It lags behind, but now and then, bursts forth before our eyes.

 

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Categories: Beauty, DREAM, Family & Friends, Flowers, Home, Inspiration, Making Memories, Poetry, Simplicity, Spring, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Civil Discourse

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By Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

Good Morning!☀️

The Story of ‘Civil Discourse’

Summer is drawing to a close, but it is NOT over just yet! One of the great things about summer is real socializing when people get together and enjoy one another’s company. If together for any length of time, this usually leads to the engagement of conversation more than just the weather, sale day finds and the results of some sporting event. We are after all, social creatures. We like to get together and have a good time. And we like to converse with others especially if we agree with them, but even more importantly, if, they agree with us! 😂

It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere 🙂

There is both a science and an art to civility, to agree to even disagree, to discuss. I call this, ‘civil discourse.’ To discourse is much more than to just converse and discuss. It is an elevation of intellect or simply put, putting our best foot (our best selves), forward, out there, for the mutual benefit of all involved.

What more of an enhancement to this end than to frame it around food 🥘 and drink! 🍹We like to eat and drink 🍹 and to be together, to hang out together and talk about things of most importance to us, things and people who really and truly matter in this life, in this wonderful, but albeit, truly short lifespan. Moments are precious and we do try or should aspire to, getting the most out of it, “milking the moment,” deeply breathing in every breath available and sucking the marrow out of every piece of meat this life has to offer; second and every moment of life we have!

There is a reason for the phrase, “Happy Hour.” As many are familiar, Happy Hour is often thought of as, starting somewhere around 5 PM. Another saying that may be familiar to you is, “That it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” 😂 I even have a photograph taken of an old clock that used to set inside a bar. All other numbers were removed and replaced with only 5’s so yes, it does show that no matter what time it is where you are, it is, 5 o’clock somewhere, meaning, it’s always time, for Happy Hour! 😊

Along with getting together, conversing, having food 🥘 and drink 🍹 and well, just having a good time, a Happy Time socially, there is also something “social” about, making and serving drinks! 🍹

I like mixing drinks 🍹and trying new things and yes, even making them up! My brother-in-law, Kevin, recently sent me a link to a website offering many different new foods 🥘 and drinks, to explore and try.

Now I am not a professional (I am neither employed or tipped as a),  bartender or mixologist, but I profess, I am certainly (if an amateur), highly enthusiastic!

In searching the aforementioned website that Kevin provided me with, there was one particular drink 🍹 which caught my attention. I knew I wanted to try it, but also, I did not have all the ingredients it called for. So, I improvised. Now, I figure that if not following their recipe, then I am making it up and I should be able to, can and I did make it up, make it my own?! So I did. In so doing, I should be allowed to name it and I did name it! I call it-— ‘Civil Discourse’ 😊

Now, before I share with you the recipe, I want to first share with you what’s in it (the ingredients), and WHY.

 

‘Civil Discourse’ (Why)

 

Bergamot 🍊- similar to combining lemon, 🍋 lime,🍋 orange, 🍊 and grapefruit, all in one fruit. It has calming and uplifting effects (it induces one to just “feel good” 😊)
Cucumber 🥒 – soothing and cooling, good for joints and the heart (a good heart ❤️)
Mint 🍃- refreshing (the herb of hospitality)
Earl Grey Tea ☕️ – considered as “posh” or upper class, but I like to think of its effects and affects, resulting in the art of civility. Black tea ☕️ a little caffeine to ‘keep you and your ‘Civil Discourse’ going’ 😂
Lime 🍋 – citrus 🍊 vitamin C refreshing and ‘sunny’ 🌞
Tito’s Vodka – smooth while not adding to or taking from the overall taste and it lessons the distinct flavor of Gin
Bombay’s Sapphire Gin – very smooth and distinct with botanical and aromatics, but it is mixed with vodka (Tito’s made in the USA 🇺🇸), to retain its characteristics and alcohol % while not overpowering the drink 🍹

It should be noted, the main ingredient to ‘Civil Discourse’ implied, recommended, and absolutely necessary is, You and I!! 🙂

‘Civil Discourse’

‘Civil Discourse’(How)

 

Ingredients:

Tito’s Vodka – 2 1/2 ounces
Bombay Sapphire Gin – 1 1/2 ounces
Fresh squeezed Lime juice – about a whole small lime or 1/2 of a large one
8-10 fresh rinsed mint leaves + 2 for garnish
3-4 slices of cucumber + 2 for garnish
3/4 ounce of fluid sugar (simple syrup)
3/4 fluid ounce of Earl Grey Tea

Preparation:

Note: It’s nice to have some simple syrup always on hand. 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Heat to dissolve. Store in refrigerator to have on hand when needed. Stores for a long time.

1. Boil about 1 ounce of water and pour into a heat-resistant container. Place 1 bag of Earl Grey tea into container and let seep for about 3 minutes. By the time it is ready, the boiling of the water, evaporation and the bag will have taken about 1/4 ounce of the water leaving, about 3/4 of an ounce of fluid tea. Remove tea bag
2. Muddle all but 2 leaves of mint and all but 2 cucumber slices with a mortar and pestle or some other means to get the most possible juice from these two items.
3. Juice from about 1 small lime or 1/2 of a large lime
4. Measure out 2 1/2 ounces of vodka
5. Measure out 1 1/2 ounces of gin
6. Pour vodka, gin, 3/4 ounce of fluid Earl Grey tea, 3/4 ounce of simple syrup, lime juice (=about 4 tablespoons), into muddled cucumber and mint
7. Add ice to a shaker
8. Pour drink mixture into shaker and shake
9. Strain mixture TWICE
10. Pour strained mixture into a highball glass, half filled with cubed ice
11. Add 1 slice of cucumber and one mint leaf to garnish

Note: This recipe yields 2 drinks. Multiply for more drinks 👍 bon appétit & Salute La Familia (salute my family) which includes: all those I get to choose as family 🙂 and strangers, folks I haven’t met yet! 🙂

And on this day, August 28, 2017, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, on August 28th, 1963, delivered from the steps of The Lincoln Memorial, in our nation’s capitol, in the presence of 200,000 + peaceful protesters and the world looking on, which led to- ‘The Civil Rights Act’, being signed into law…

…ENJOY YOUR—

‘Civil Discourse’! 😃

 

 

Cheers🍹 from: The Gathering Place,

 

Dahni

Amateur Bar Tender and Mixologist, but a Professional Enthusiast! 😂

 

Coming Soon: The Grilled Veggies’ we had with ‘Civil Discourse’

Categories: Beverages, Cooking, DREAM, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Pursuit of Happiness, Recipes, Tea, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Make America Dream Again

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

Yesterday Was National Moon Day and for me, it began with a status on my sister’s Facebook page and an incredible picture.

Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) | Twitter

Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) | Twitter

Even though I live in New York, I do not live in New York City and I have never seen the Statue of Liberty in person. But she is an icon and a symbol of so much that evokes so much emotion and captures in her meaning and visage, the United States of America. She is on my ‘bucket list’ to one day or night, to experience with my own two eyes.

I was aware that the full moon of this month is called the Buck Moon, the Hay Moon or the Thunder Moon, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. I had recently heard that if the conditions were right, I just might be able to see it as a red moon this month. I am not too good at taking decent pictures at night with my cell phone, so it was time to take out my big-boy camera and tripod, to see what I could capture. As the following pictures show, my views went from red, to golden and then white as it was when I took it, high in the sky at approximately 1:30 AM, eastern standard time. Though the quality of my pictures are not the greatest, I marveled at their beauty in my own two eyes and the change of color, in such a short period of time.

Moon1

Red Moon – about 11:00 PM Wednesday 7/20/16 eastern standard time

 

Moon2

Golden Moon – around midnight Thursday, 7/20/16 eastern standard time

Moon3

Golden Moon (closeup with clouds covering) – 12:15 AM 7/21/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moon4

White Moon – (closeup) 1:30 AM, Thursday 7/21/16 eastern standard time

Earlier on the Wednesday 7/20/16, I was watching the news on TV, around noon. On July 3, 1995, astronaut Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and she was scheduled to speak in Cleveland, OH, Wednesday evening, 7/20/16. She became the first female shuttle pilot and commander to speak at a Republican National Convention. And why not, this is, after all, America!

I put two and two together (or three)— National Moon Day, Collins speaking at the convention and on 7/20,  47 years ago in 1969, the United States Landed the first people EVER, on the Moon.  I knew I wanted to hear Collins speak, but I caught very little of it, as I was trying to get set up to take pictures of the moon. I am glad it was re-broadcast and I caught it later. I saw a lot more than I was expecting!

Some people were a little upset that a certain former candidate did not endorse the republican nominee for president and there was some booing. Someone (someone against all of this) was quick to call them, “howling lunatics.” I wonder if they knew there was a full moon out and howling refers to wolves that supposedly howl when the moon is full? “Lunatics” has as its root, “luna,” which refers to the moon. I only mention this as we seem so divided now, perhaps even more so or at least equal to, the times of the so-called Civil (which I call the UN-civil) War? This division among us seems especially true politically, anyway. It seems WE has all but been replaced with ME?

me-myself-and-i and you-yourself-and-yours seem along way away from US, WE the People

 

The sun rules the day and reveals so much. It is too intense of a light to look upon with the naked eye, so we look down and at what lies before us. The moon rules the night. It is a light in the darkness. We are drawn to this, especially when it’s full, like a moth is drawn to the flame. We look up at the moon and wonder and dream. How long as a nation, as a people, have we had vision, for the future or dreamed? Not howling our discontent at the moon like lunatics, but dreamed?

We are now a people who are concerned or worry over or fear our future. The world seems on fire and even our neighborhoods, don’t feel safe anymore. Who has time to dream if you’re just trying to survive from pay check to pay check or just to get through the day? Now, people can seize upon these doubts, worries and fears and provide vision and leadership or keep us blind and divided.

Dividers separate, manipulate and keep us in the dark
Leaders give vision to guide us together to the light of liberty

-dahni-

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States (1961-1963), the youngest man elected to the office. He provided US with vision, vision to safely land people on the moon and return home. This he envisioned being possible, within the decade of when he first proposed such a thing. OUR dedication to this vision produced so much more than what we received! New technologies, businesses, methods, jobs and inventions were just some of the by-products, of all things necessary to land on the moon and safely return home. As incredible as this was, a vision is NOT, for a final destination, but a continual and continuous journey! WE stopped dreaming as a people, at least about space travel and discovery, in 1999. WE need to Dream and Dream BIG again! This was beautifully and succinctly stated by Neil Armstrong. On July 20, 1969, from the moon’s surface he said,

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!”

Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11

When should WE ever stop stepping or leaping? NEVER! Each night of the Republican Convention of 2016, there was a planned theme. On July 20, 2016, this theme was:

‘Make America First Again’

We used to be first at so many things. This is what made US, a ‘superpower’ in the world! WE had vision!

“Where there is no vision, the people wander aimlessly.”

Proverbs 29:18 Sanskrit Telugu

With vision, we have direction and can see clearly; our actions and our results bring more results, even far greater than what could be imagined. How apropos that on this National Moon Day and a day in history when the world was graced with the benefits of our landing on the moon! As this began with the image of the Statue of Liberty, with the moon at her back, so it will shortly end here, but hopefully NOT in your memory and your resolve. That image is, the purpose of unity among US, WE the People. WE need to look up as in the night sky towards the moon that rules the night. What I am trying to say here is more, so much more than sentimental hogwash or an emotional appeal; some feel-good! WE need to DREAM again! Only where there is Liberty do WE have the freedom to dream and dream big and lead others out of darkness! Ladies and gentlemen, this IS, the American Dream! Let’s dream again together and dream—

BIG!

This is what allowed US to become the greatest superpower, the world have ever known! WE were first because, WE were unified! WE had vision because, WE had the Liberty to DREAM! Let US, WE the People, with the American Dream, rise up together with this vision! Let US lead ourselves and our children; our families and friends and the strangers among us and the entire world! That’s what it means to be First, to have Vision, to draw out from the darkness to the Light of Liberty! Let US DREAM again, DREAM first and DREAM big !

At the end of this day, in trying to hear the speech by our country’s first female astronaut commander, I saw the following video. Enjoy it and share it with everyone, whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent! Just look up at that moon in the night sky and DREAM because, Liberty allows US to be, WE the People and do great things, for ourselves, each other and the entire planet!

 

 

 

MyAussieHatwBkg_sm

 

 

 

 

This post can also be viewed on another of my blogs, ‘Our Lady Liberty’ (How’s She Doing?) from the following link:

http://wp.me/pyrh7-5G

 

Categories: DREAM, Family & Friends, Home, Inspiration, Moon, Republic, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized, Vision, WE the People, You Tube | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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