Bob’s Garden Spring 2017

They say that everybody  always complains about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it.    If you are at all into gardening, this Spring’s crazy weather has made things a challenge: Flowers opening early and freezing; buds opening up icing over and and falling off; rain and chilly weather that has made May seem more like  Fall than Spring.  

So Bob has faced challenges in the garden this spring and it’s not as full and lush as it usually is at this time of year.  Even so, there are four turtles in the Koi pond and sometimes they sit in the sun stacked up on one another.  Turtles really do that.  I don’t have any pictures because they are camera shy, but you can see many examples here.  And the turtles come out on the so far rare sunny days to bask in the sun and enjoy the flowers.

 

 

Color Wheels

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I volunteered to help in the ColorWheels mobile community art program  run by the Fleisher Art Memorial and participated in my first program on Saturday outside the Donatucci branch of the Philadelphia Free Library. After helping to set up the ColorWheels tent, I and other volunteers helped  the neighborhood kids make Gelli prints using leaves we found on the sidewalk and supplies from the ColorWheels art van.  It was a lot of fun and the kids jumped right in picking out paint and leaves, and turning out prints that twe hung up to dry for them.

We ended up closing a little early because it started raining.  Still, it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

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Pancakes for Breakfast Made With Love

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Happy Holidays from South Philadelphia!  We decided to make  plates for two little boys  for their weekly pancake breakfasts with their parents. Dad makes chocolate chip pancakes for the family every Sunday.   Yum, Yum!

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imageSo, where did we go ?  Why The Expressive Hand a charming paint your own pottery shop in the heart of Bella Vista.   That’s owner Marcie Ziskind showing Bubbie how to do lettering on the rim of the plate.

wpid-img_20141214_143135blog_wm.jpgBubbie is working hard on Connor’s plate.

imageHere’s my plate with the rim painted and the pancake design drawn out.

imageDon’t Connor’s pancakes look good?  Great job Bubbie!!

imageAnd here’s Nathan’s plate, done by yours truly.

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IMG_20141214_155236blog_wmBoy we had a good time!    Wait until the little guys see their dishes, made with lots of love and some help from Marcie.

Read more about the Expressive hand in this  Blog Post.

The View From My Front Door Bob’s Garden Summer 2014

I live in South Philadelphia where there’s not much greenery. But I’m lucky because my neighbor Bob turns the hot and gritty summer landscape into an urban oasis every year. Here are some pictures from this years’ garden.

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The Hawthorn tree

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The Koi pond

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wpid-img_20140728_174938blog_wm.jpgStreet view

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Banana tree

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 Flowers bloom, die and

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New flowers come up to take their place

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Lotus

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The Banana tree and koi pond

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Bob’s BFF Barbra keeps watch over everything.  Sqwalk!

If you want to see posts about  of Bob’s garden from summers past, click on the links below.  Not all of the slide show links work on the older posts but they will give you an idea of how the garden has changed over the years. 

2007 

2008

2009 

2011

2012

2013

It ain’t New Years without the Mummers

What happens when you ask a group of men walking down the street if you can take pictures of their shoes?  If it’s New Years day in Philadelphia, they are likely to say yes but only if your husband gets in  the picture too.

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Golden Slippers

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Here are some links to   for Mummers fans.

A Guide to Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade

It ain’t New Years without the Mummers Parade.

and a couple of old blog posts

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM PHILADELPHIA

NEW YEARS IN PHILADELPHIA MEANS MUMMERS

Have a fun and safe New Year!

I Murdered My Sewing Machine!!

I managed to murder a sewing machine.   I was busy sewing wonky log cabin blocks on my late Mother-in-Law’s Kenmore when I heard, GADUMP!  I stopped and saw I had a bent needle.  I replaced it and stared to sew but the machine  continued to clunk!clunk! clunk! And clunk!  And basically not sew anything.     I needed sewing machine triage.
Chain Piecing
Chain Piecing on the Kenmore
There is no sewing repair place near my house and I don’t own a car.  I was determined not to ask a friend to schlep me and my crippled machine to a repair place so I started to look for someone who would come to my house.   I found a guy on Yelp who had one five star rating.  That was his only rating.  I called him.
“How old is your machine?” he asked
“I don’t want to buy a new one,” I retorted.  (I am always suspicious.)
“I don’t want you to buy a new one,” he answered,  “the new ones aren’t any good; but I need to know how old yours is before I know  whether I can work on it.”
“Seventeen years old, ” I replied.
“I can fix that no problem.”  He made arrangements to come to my house the next day.
My husband let him in and took his card, Jack DeSorte’s Vacuum Repair.  Jack parked himself at my dining room table and inspected the machine.  “I’ll have this fixed in about an hour, ” he announced.
My heart soared.  For the next hour,  Jack labored on the machine and treated my husband and me to the short version of his life story, his philosophy of sewing machines, sewing machine repair and sewing machine restoration.  It dawned on me that I had a first class, genuine, A-Number One sewing machine nerd repairman seated in my dining room.  Which is a good thing in case you were wondering.
After an hour,  Jack rose from the table wiping his forehead and informed me that he would have to take the machine into his shop.  “I don’t know what you did to this machine, ” he declared, ” but I’m gonna have to take the whole thing apart and it’s gonna be messy.  I  might need parts.  I can’t fix it here.”
“Will you bring it back when it’s fixed?” I inquired.
“Of course,” he replied as if wondering why I had to ask about something so obvious.
“Wait a minute,”  I called, running down the basement steps, “I have something else.”  I returned with  my Mother’s 1961 Singer Slant-O-Matic 500A. “This was my mother’s machine, “I told him, ” and I used to sew on it when I was a little girl.  It works but it needs a tune up.  She got that machine when Kennedy was president, ” I added.  (This means that I felt comfortable enough with Jack to date myself.  Which means something but I’m not sure what.)
Slant O Matic
Slant-O-Matic
He was beaming.  “Will you look at that, ” he exclaimed lifting  up the lid that covers the double  thread spindles. “It’s so clean!  Normally when I see one if these it’s got all kinds of crap on it.”
“My Mother was so clean that once she broke our television to clean it, “I bragged.  “My Father wouldn’t get it fixed, so we had to turn it on and off by using the plug.  And my brother claimed that we were the only family he knew who had a brutal cycle on their washing machine.”Maybe you are starting to understand why I took to Jack like I did.
Jack wrote up the proper receipts and disappeared with my sewing machines into the night.
To be continued. . .

Philadelphia Holiday Traditions

Christmas Show in Macy’s (Wanamaker’s Grand Court). Click here for the history of this tradition.

Lighting the Menorah on Independence  Mall

Street Decorating in South Philadelphia. Read more about it here.

Kwanzaa Nguzo Saba Candle Lighting Ceremony and Dance

Holiday Train Shows Reading Terminal Market. Find out more here.

and finally, my favorite and the oldest of  all,

The Winter Solstice

Last year:

My Grandmothers’ Christmas Legacy

I Think the First One’s a Chicken

 I have posted before about the work of Isaiah Zagar’s walls and his Magic Garden.  You don’t always have the good fortune to see a work in progress but that’s what happened to me during a walk in my neighborhood.    I stumbled on what appears to be the latest installation in the neighborhood.

Here’s a photo of a work around the corner to give you a general idea of Zagar’s work.  You can never tell how something like this will turn out though.  It looks like a few of the pictures might be portraits including one of the artist, and I think one of the figures in the first picture is a chicken.  Will it remain a chicken?  I will post pictures of the finished wall when its done

Enjoy this cool video

Halloween in South Philadelphia

Some pictures from my neighborhood.

The End of Summer in Bob’s Garden

It’s the end of summer in my neighbor Bob’s sidewalk garden, which now takes up the front of four row houses in South Philadelphia. Bob takes care of the garden and koi pond. The only thing he asks is permission to place a beautiful flowering plant in front of your house, which adds badly needed curb appeal in an urban environment. There’s a new addition to the koi pond this year: A big, sleepy turtle. He just appeared one day. Do you think he’s a magic turtle? Bob thinks he’s blind. All I know is that he’s very lazy. Once I saw him on a Lilly pad and thought he might have died. Then I realized that if Turtle had gone to the great hereafter, it is likely he would have fallen off the Lilly pad. But he bobbed up and down on that Lilly pad for quite some time. Turtle is lazier than a house cat. If you don’t believe me, try to sit through this video.

The Garden

Do you think Turtle is really blind?

Enjoy the slideshow.

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