Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Summation

Good Sunday morning!
Lately it feels like I've been ignoring this blog an awful lot but it's not so much that as it is being a little too busy with other irons in the fire to post on a regular basis.  I was just thinking the other day how I used to get kind of panicky if I didn't at least post something every day and now it's kind of like "eh, no big deal, I'll get to it!"  That's probably because I know that regular readers are quite forgiving and understanding when it comes to Life vs. Blogging - and I thank you all for that!
So ... what have I been busy doing?  Good question as sometimes I'm not even sure myself!  My work schedule has changed a little bit and I'm now back to working double shifts on Sundays and Tuesdays with a quick 8-hour Monday evening shift sandwiched in between which is a pretty darned good deal if you ask me as that means I get four solid days off in a row every week provided I'm not lucky enough to pick up an occasional overtime shift which is very rare these days being that we're actually up to staff and apparently staying there - miracle that that is!   Having four days off in a row every week you would think I'd be able to get a lot more things done but alas, that hasn't been the case so far though I'm hoping for better time management skills as I get used to this new schedule.
This new schedule will also hopefully give me more time to wander distractedly in pursuit of interesting places to write about for one of my new projects - my "travel blog" The Distracted Wanderer.  Even though juggling multiple blogs is not easy, I was encouraged to start writing that one by several friends who felt that it would be a good thing to have someplace to highlight my travel posts.  I've been working on transferring posts that are travel-related from this blog over to that blog while also trying to write the occasional new post to keep things fresh over there.  It's time-consuming but considering how nice some of the lovely compliments that I've received from a few of the places that I've written about have been, I'd say it's more than worth it plus it gives me the chance to at least play at being a travel writer.  I may never be one in real life but I certainly can be on my blog!  Whenever I do have a new post over there, I'll have a short post here telling you about it so if you get the chance, I'd love it if you could pop over there and check it out.  They'll be the same travel posts you used to read here - they're now just going to be over there instead!
Another project that has kept me busy lately has to do with photography as I've recently opened a SmugMug account which will give me the opportunity to offer prints for sale directly from my account.  Granted, there's currently no long line of people banging down my door asking for prints of my photos but on occasion one or two people have asked where they could get one and SmugMug makes that very easy as one can order directly from there.  I've had a Flickr account for years now so with most of my photos being there, I now have to transfer them over to my SmugMug account which is a bit on the time-consuming side as it requires me to download the pictures back onto my computer and then upload them onto SmugMug.  There are a couple of ways to do it that don't require me to download/upload but I've found that they don't provide the quality that I get doing it the more time-consuming way so ... I'm chipping away at that in addition to working on getting The Distracted Wanderer on track. 
Meanwhile I'm planning my very first jaunt up to Canada soon as well as another trip down to Baltimore with my cousin for a couple of days in addition to trying to figure out when I can fit in a visit to the North Shore being that I've got a free night at the Rockport Inn & Suites waiting for me.  I'm thinking I could combine it with a night at my favorite hotel in Salem (the Hawthorne Hotel of course!) so that I could finally take the Historic House tour that the Peabody Essex Museum has as well as maybe get the chance to head out onto the water on one of the many cruises offered throughout the area; it would be nice to be able to see some lighthouses from the deck of a boat!  Oh, and I'd still like to get my golf clubs out of storage and see if I can swing a club without throwing out my back! 
Anyhow, with all of that along with the rest of "real life" needing to be tended to I guess you can see where I've been a bit busy.  Or disorganized!  Or distracted!  Or all three!  No wonder the time just seems to fly by!  So ... how are things with you?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five on Friday - The Canadian Female Version

Continuing with my musical journey through Canada for Travis' Five on Friday meme, last week it was the guys' turn but this week I'm turning the tuneage over to the ladies of The True North. Believe it or not, the ladies songs were a little harder to come up with than the guys but I hope there's something in there your ears like!

If you'd like to play along with us some Friday be sure to visit Trav's Thoughts and check out the quick and easy guidelines for sharing five of your favorites on Friday!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grabbing Some Grub at "The Gris"

The Griswold Inn in Essex, Connecticut; the United States' oldest continuously operating inn.

Following my walk around the enchanting town of Essex, 
I stopped in for lunch at
“The Oldest Continuously Operating Inn in America”. 
 Visit The Distracted Wanderer for an in-depth look at the historic Griswold Inn where history meets country comfort and charm since 1776!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exploring in Essex

The Connecticut River

Join me at The Distracted Wanderer as I take a walk around
Enchanting Essex, a beautiful village on the Connecticut River
chockablock full of history as one of the few American towns
to ever be attacked by a foreign power during the War of 1812.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Plotting Out the End

I'm not exactly sure why but lately I've been thinking a lot about final resting places. I suppose it might be because I probably spend more time than the average person does in one cemetery or another taking pictures or reading gravestones or it might be because I work in a job where death and dying are - unfortunately - par for the course. No matter the reason, I'm pretty positive that none of us shuffle off of this mortal coil alive and unless you've given some thought to what your final arrangements are going to be, you're not only at the whim of your family but are putting the burden of a lot of painful decisions on their shoulders at a time when - hopefully - they're too overcome by your loss to be thinking clearly. Or at least one hopes! Add on the fact that it's becoming very expensive to die these days and it just seems smarter to plan ahead.

Being the practical Virgo that I am and a person who likes to have plans in place if at all possible, I've been debating where my own final resting place might be and trying to be as realistic about it as possible.  I'm pretty sure I'm never going to have my name chiseled on a stone as "the beloved wife of ..." pretty much anybody and I rather doubt my parents want me hanging around their cemetery plot either. Huge family plots like those I see at Yantic Cemetery are most definitely a thing of the past so I think I'm going to be pretty much on my own.

Somehow the topic came up during conversation on Wednesday morning when my good friend Rhonda and I were at breakfast and - wonderful friend that she is - she offered me a spot in their plot but I told her it would probably look pretty funny to read the inscription on her gravestone "Here lies George and his beloved wife Rhonda" and then have my name chiseled in underneath " ... and their friend Linda".  It's really a sweet gesture and one that only a true friend would ever make but I think I've made up my mind as to where I'm going to have whatever's left of me after cremation buried and that's at the Connecticut State Veterans' Cemetery in Middletown. To that end, I took a drive up there on Thursday to check things out as I'd never been there before and I figured if I was going to fill out the paperwork to make it my final destination, I wanted to get a look at the lay of the land.

The cemetery is located on Bow Lane across from the grounds of Connecticut Valley Hospital (a place I've been known to dispatch ambulances to on occasion) which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally known as the General Hospital for Insane of the State of Connecticut, in 1874 its name was changed to the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane. By 1879 it was referred to as the Connecticut State Hospital and in 1961 the institution's name was officially changed to the Connecticut Valley Hospital.

On the list of the National Register of Historic Places since 1985, the hospital first opened its doors in 1868 and by 1896 was one of the largest institutions of its kind in the country. I didn't have the chance to prowl the grounds when I went up to the cemetery on Thursday but I daresay a return trip is in order as many of the original buildings are still there and I'd love to take a look at the architecture.  I just need to remember that its still a very active and functioning mental health facility and act accordingly when taking pictures and such.

The interesting history of CVH aside, I haven't really been able to find much of anything about the Connecticut State Veterans' Cemetery on-line other than the fact that it's a VA Grant Funded Cemetery which means that the Veterans Administration provides grants in order to "establish, expand or improve veterans cemeteries that are owned and operated by a state." The administration, operation, and maintenance is still solely the responsibility of the State of Connecticut who is also responsible in ensuring that the cemetery "conforms to the standards and guidelines pertaining to site selection, planning, and construction prescribed by the VA." In other words, the VA oversees but the State of Connecticut carries out ... or at least that's my understanding.

Entrance to the State Veterans' Cemetery in Middletown, CT

Pulling up to the cemetery it's pretty easy to recognize that you're at a Veterans' Cemetery as you immediately see the distinctive white marble headstones just beyond the field-stone constructed gates.  I found it rather interesting that the cemetery has a large iron gate that they close and lock at night but there's no fence around the cemetery itself.  You obviously can't drive in after hours but should you want to wander in by foot there's really nothing to stop you except for hopefully some common sense and decency as well as the fact that there are State Police patrolling the grounds of CVH and chances are good they're keeping an eye on the cemetery, too.

When you first enter the cemetery, there are sections of graves to both sides of the roadway.  From what I could tell the graves weren't laid out by year of death or anything else so it didn't appear that these were "older" sections. As a matter of fact, none of the sections looked particularly old so I'd be quite curious to find out when the cemetery was established. Unfortunately there didn't appear to be any maintenance personnel around for me to ask that of.

Following the road around to the right, pretty soon you come across an office and a very large field of grass directly in front of you that has hundreds of white stones arranged in row after row.  They may not be aligned as neatly as those in Gettysburg National Cemetery or Antietam National Cemetery or Arlington National Cemetery but they gave me that same feeling of honor and respect that I've gotten from visiting any Veterans' Cemetery.

Gazing upon the uniform white stones is a good reminder of how many people have taken the oath to protect and serve our country even though this is only a small amount of men and women who served in the Armed Forces in the big picture of things. Certainly they didn't all die in battle either but they would have if called upon to take up arms and I think that's what counts. They were willing to die so that the rest of us could be free and I feel that providing them a final resting place is the least the state can do.

One of the things I liked about the Veterans' Cemetery is that there were lots of trees symmetrically planted alongside the roadway.  I'm a big proponent of trees in cemeteries but don't ask me why - I just think they belong there!

Periodically, there were benches that were placed along the edges of the lawn so that one could sit and reflect if one were to so choose and I thought that was a nice touch. Cemeteries are definitely places of reflection and memories.

In addition to veterans who served at least 90 days of active duty and were released from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions, their spouses may also be buried here. Considering that spouses play such an important role in a veterans' life, I think it's great that they can be buried together and I saw a lot of stones that marked the graves of wives. I'd be willing to bet there was a husband or two of a veteran in there also, but I didn't see any during my visit. It's my understanding that the graves are not dug side-by-side but one on top of the other which makes sense as far as spacing goes.

While at the cemetery, I made sure to take the time to pay my respects and visit the grave of a former co-worker and friend of mine from American Ambulance. Mark was one of the very first EMTs that I met when I began my career at American and I spent two days with he and his partner as they showed me the ins and outs of what goes on out on the road so that I'd have a better idea as a dispatcher about the care and treatment of patients as well as what might go wrong and cause delays on transfers.  It was a very enlightening experience, especially considering I had no clue about anything to do with an ambulance at all, and Mark taught me a lot of good stuff.  I credit him with a lot of my success as a good ambulance dispatcher as I took a lot of his advice to heart and still use it eight years later.

Mark died way too young and most of us still aren't sure why either - he had a seizure one morning and never came out of it and that's pretty much all we know.  He was very involved in the City of Norwich Little League and his passing was a great loss to them, too.  He was just way too young ... way too young. When I arrived at the grave there was one small stone on top of Mark's headstone to show that someone had been there and before I left I placed another there even though I'm not Jewish. I've read that symbolically, leaving a small stone suggests the continuing presence of love and memory which are as strong and enduring as a rock so it seemed only appropriate to leave one.

A Lone VisitorWhile I was visiting Mark's grave one other person arrived at the cemetery and spent quite a bit of time at a grave not too far from where Mark's was.  Even though there's a sign at the entrance to the cemetery that says they discourage plants and such being left at the graves, I noticed that there were quite a few graves that did have pots of flowers in front of them and my guess is that this woman was at the cemetery to tend to some flowers herself. There's no shade around the graves so any flowers left would tend to dry out pretty quickly if we actually had a longer period of time when it didn't rain at least once.  Unlike town cemeteries, flags aren't put on the graves to mark those of veterans either being that everyone there is a veteran (or spouse of one) so if you want an American flag on a grave, you need to put one there yourself.

All in all I decided that I liked the cemetery and that there really were worse places that one could end up at when reaching the end of one's life so I've decided that I'm going to go ahead and submit the paperwork needed to reserve a spot for myself. I talked to my Mom about it and told her that it was one of the very few benefits that I had coming to me as a veteran (having served during a period of time when there were no conflicts or wars I pretty much get passed over for anything else) and that it would certainly make things easier on my children when my time came to have already taken care of the arrangements. There's no charge for the plot, no charge for the cremation, no charge for the opening or closing of the grave, and the headstone is provided by the Federal Government and installed by cemetery personnel at no cost. Additionally, perpetual care is supplied by the State of Connecticut so no one has to drive the hour or so up to Middletown to make sure the grass has been mowed.

Granted, I can't pick out a spot ahead of time as an exact gravesite isn't assigned until after a person dies but in the big picture of things, I don't think that's really going to matter as I know I'll be resting among fellow veterans no matter where in the cemetery I end up. And that will be a privilege and an honor.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five on Friday - The Canadian Male Version

This week I'm continuing the Canadian theme that I began last week as I'm making plans for a short trip to the Toronto and Niagara Falls area in a couple of weeks.  Normally in life it's ladies first but this week I thought I'd let the men take first crack at the spotlight and then we'll follow it up with the ladies next week.

Enjoy this week's selections and for those of you who might not be familiar with Five on Friday, it's an easy music meme that was invented by Travis of Trav's Thoughts.  If you'd like to play and sing along, just click the link to visit Trav's blog for the simple rules, sign in, and share your musical selections.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Make Your Dispatch Partner Happy

The work schedule change that I mentioned yesterday also means that my dispatch partners have changed a bit and as such, I no longer work double-shifts on Mondays with Jeff who has become more than a dispatch partner as he's also become a friend.  Feeling somewhat bad for "abandoning" him on Mondays (and Thursdays) I decided that the least I could do was bring in a cake on Monday afternoon when I strolled into dispatch at 3:00 p.m. joining a partner who had already put in 8 tough hours.  It's the least I could do, right?

Besides, lying in bed and enjoying not getting up at 5:30 had given me plenty of time to think about what kind of cake to bake.  I'm afraid I've kind of gotten a reputation at work for using alcohol in my cakes (which can be either a good or a bad thing depending on how you want to look at it!) so I knew I wanted to use something from the liquor cabinet but what to use, what to use?  Peach Brandy?  Nah ... Amaretto?  Nah ... Midori? Nah ... Though I think those all may have a future in upcoming baking experiments, I decided that I'd go with Creme de Cacao for Monday's cake.  I initially debated using a chocolate fudge cake mix with the liquor but then decided that perhaps I'd use a white cake mix instead and see what else I had in the cupboard to go along with it.  A little more thinking and I ended up with:

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake 
1 box white cake mix (preferably the type with pudding already added)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 milk
1/2 cup Creme de Cacao
4 eggs
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped Macadamia nuts
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Creme de Cacao
Directions for cake:
Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan and then sprinkle the 1/2 cup chopped Macadamia nuts on the bottom of the pan.
Mix all ingredients except the white chocolate chips together in a large bowl beating for about two minutes on medium speed
Put the white chocolate chips in a small plastic bag and shake up with about 1/2 tablespoon of flour to coat the chips so that they won't sink to the bottom of the cake
Pour over the Macadamia nuts in the pan and then bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan while you prepare the glaze.
Directions for glaze:
After the cake is removed from the oven and while it cools in the pan, melt together the sugar, butter, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and slowly add the 1/2 cup of Creme de Cacao stirring thoroughly.
Remove the cake from the bundt pan and then after wiping the pan out with a paper towel, put half of the glaze mixture in the bottom of the pan.  After poking holes around the top and the side of the cake with a large fork, return the cake to the pan being sure to line up the cake up so that it sits properly in the pan.
Poke holes around the bottom of the cake (which is now the top in the pan) and pour the rest of the glaze carefully over the cake being sure not to pour any through the hole in the middle.
Allow the cake to cool and sit in the pan soaking up the glaze for as long as you like before inverting the cake onto a serving platter.

If this recipe sounds a lot like the one I posted on Saturday for the Coconut Rum Cake that's probably because it's not that much different with the exception of the ingredients being changed up a little bit.  I figured that one came out so well it had to be a good starting point for future cakes and why mess with success?  I've got future plans to try a Butterscotch Schnapps Cake using this same basic recipe and maybe even a Midori Cake though I'm going to have to give that one some more thought.  I figure if the folks at work don't mind being guinea pigs then I don't mind experimenting.  After all, Betty Crocker started out somehow, right??

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Musings

Orange Gerber Daisy

Due to a new schedule change at work my days off have altered slightly and I'm now back to working a double-shift on Sundays, evenings on Monday, and another double on Tuesdays. I know a lot of folks say that they couldn't work 16-hour shifts but the way I look at it, I'm already there so what the hey?! Plus it gives me four full days a week off which is not a bad deal at all when you get right down to it.  On Wednesdays when everyone is still looking at their weekend being two days off, I've already started mine!  As for being back to working Sundays, I really don't mind them in the least as if you had to pick an "easy" day when it comes to 911, Sundays are usually it.  Besides, maybe there will be a resurrection of "Chick Flick Sundays" and I can catch up on all those movies I haven't had a chance to see since abandoning Sunday shifts!

I took Jamie out to a Chinese buffet on Saturday for a late lunch/early dinner as we had some errands to run and she'd been craving sushi (something all three of my kids love but for which I've never acquired a taste).  After eating we were given our customary end-of-meal fortune cookie and mine read "Remember three months from this date!  Your lucky star is shing."  Well, let's see, Saturday was June 11th so that means three months away is September 11th - a day that no one ever forgets anymore.  I'll have to try to remember to look back over the three months that passes between then and then and see if, in fact, there was a lucky star shining.

Oh, speaking of Saturday, that was the day I baked the Coconut Rum Cake for Rob's birthday that I had missed, remember?  I was going to bring the cake into work with me today but after sending Rob a picture on Facebook last night, he requested I bring it in then instead. I guess I can't say that I blame him as it did look good ...

Being the nice person that I am I did as requested and stuck around for a slice myself. Not to brag but it was good - really, really good!  That recipe is most definitely a keeper!  However, having taken the cake in last night meant that was going to be no cake tonight and I like sharing any new recipes with my dispatch partner Jeff, I decided to spend some of my new-found Monday morning time off today to bake another cake to take in with me this evening. If it turns out half as well as the Coconut Rum Cake did I'll share the recipe with you tomorrow. I've got an idea for another cake, too, but I think that one's going to have to wait a bit as otherwise my co-workers are going to accuse me of trying to make them fat if I bring cakes in constantly!

Yesterday I had the chance to spend some time with extended family at a birthday party for my Aunt Eleanor. She'll be 75 tomorrow which somehow just doesn't seem at all possible. I mean, look at her - does she look 75 to you?? She sure doesn't to me!

Aunt Eleanor

Speaking of birthdays, my Mom and Amanda will be celebrating their shared birthdays this coming Saturday when Amanda will be turning 19 and my Mom won't!  If you want to do the math, though, my Mom is her sister Eleanor's oldest sister by just a touch under two years - that should give you a pretty good hint!

Anyhow, back to the party ... naturally I took my camera along for the day and somehow I  managed to get talked into posing for a picture - something that I very rarely will agree to being that I am much more comfortable behind the lens than in front of it but I guess it's nice to occasionally be in the picture, too. The picture below is my Mom, my "baby" brother John and his wife Ann and Jamie and I. I guess you could say that it was my Mom with her baby and me with mine. Amanda was down in New Jersey visiting friends for the day so she wasn't there to be included nor was the rest of my my particular branch of the family tree; it's very, very rare that we all get together anymore.

Family Photo

Ah well, I guess that about wraps it up for today's ramblings; it was actually kind of nice to do a post about just this that and the other thing for a change. Maybe I'll have to make this a regular Monday thing, hmmmm ...!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

But Why Is The Rum Gone?

Why Is the Rum Gone?Having inadvertently missed baking a cake last week for an AASI co-worker's birthday (sorry, Rob!), I needed to amend that faux pas this week and decided that a rum cake might be just the way to rectify the oversight. While gathering up the ingredients I noticed that my rum supply was running a bit low (ut-oh!) but it appeared that I had just enough dark rum and just enough coconut rum to whip up something slightly different - a Coconut Rum Cake!

As you can see from the picture to the left, I'm definitely going to have to make a trip to the package store and restock my Bacardi stash soon if I'm going to be baking any future rum cakes. Unfortunately a trip to Puerto Rico for restock is out of the question for the time being though I did tell Barb that I wouldn't be totally adverse to trying another cruise one of these days - perhaps I was too hasty in judging the other one as something I'd never want to do again.

Anyhow, for those of you might want to try this cake yourself, I present to you the recipe for Coconut Rum Cake.  Enjoy!

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant coconut cream pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocunut rum

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark rum

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts and coconut evenly over the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, milk, 1/2 oil, and coconut rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts and coconut in the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan then turn out onto serving plate.

To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine butter, water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. It might steam so pour the rum slowly into the hot mixture.

Some recipes call for you to turn the cake out of the pan, poke holes with a large fork around the top and sides, and then either slowly pour or brush the glaze over the top and sides until it's all absorbed. Personally I like the variation of turning the cake out of the pan, poking the holes in it, and then pouring half of the glaze into the bottom of the bundt pan and returning the cake to the pan where it will then soak up the glaze. While it's back in the pan, poke holes in bottom of the cake (which is the top at this point) and then pour the rest of the glaze over the cake being careful not to pour any through the hole in the middle of the pan!

Coconut Rum Cake Cooling in Pan

Let it sit for an hour or two or longer if you'd like as it's not going to hurt it and then when you're ready to serve it (or preserve it as rum cakes are best eaten once they've had a chance to age), turn it out onto a serving plate.

This particular cake will be going into work with me on Monday evening and by then it should be good and tasty - or at least I sure hope so - and at that point hopefully Rob will forgive me for having missed his birthday in the first place! If not, I'm bringing the cake back home and enjoying it myself!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five on Friday - The Canadian Version, Eh!

I'm cutting it close this week but it's still Friday here in Connecticut so I've got time to join in on Travis' Five on Friday meme where he asks us to come up with five favorites and share them with you.  If you'd ever like to join in, the guidelines are simple and easy and it's a great chance to expand your musical repertoire!

With a proposed trip to Canada coming up either the end of this month or the beginning of next month depending on when Jamie's passport card comes in, I thought it might be nice to venture over the border and bring back some Canadian tuneage for this week.  Matter of fact, I may make this a running theme until I actually load up the car and get myself up to the Toronto area but in the meantime here are my first five choices.  Enjoy, eh?

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Historical Undertaking

Waldorf Astoria Clock

I recently took a trip to the luxurious Waldorf=Astoria hotel in New York City to attend a Media Event and Reception for the Historic Hotels of America.  Read all about it at The Distracted Wanderer

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mohegan Park in Pictures - And Few Words!

One of the good things about having to be up early for a meeting on my day off is the fact that once I'm up, I'm up which gave me some extra time to take a drive over to Mohegan Park here in Norwich to take some pictures of things that I never seem to remember to get to while they're there. Translated that means the fountain in the middle of the park when it's not winterized and the Rose Garden when the roses are actually blooming!

Park Enter

  Care to take a short walk with me? Having written about the park in previous posts (like here and here) I won't bore you with details but simply show you what it looks like on a lovely June day! Oh, and just FYI, the gate above is supposed to read "Park Center", the 'C' seems to have gone missing but it works anyway! 

Having only see the fountain wrapped up in a tarp the past few times I've been to the park, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see how pretty it was with the water flowing. Who knew? Well, probably other people who actually go to the park in the spring and summer!

Spaulding Pond in June

The picture above is Spaulding Pond where I used to take the girls swimming way back in the day when they were young and cute.  The swimming area is around the other side and out of sight near the fountain way in the back of the picture.  It's been around so long that my mom used to take me there back when I was young and cute, too.  And no, Moses was not there to part the waters! 

Rose Garden Gazebo

This is the gazebo at the Rose Garden which is located on the other side of Mohegan Park from the fountain.  Lots of weddings take place here and it's rather easy to see why what with 120 different types of roses planted either in memoriam of a loved one or otherwise.  

Rose Trellis

By the time I finally made my way over to the Rose Garden it was practically the middle of the day so the lighting wasn't very good for taking pictures but that's okay, it's close by and I can easily get there another time when it's closer to evening - I just need to double-check the hours so I know when the gates are locked and then remember to get there before all of the beautiful roses go by.  For now, please enjoy the following blooms:

An Orange Rose
Hey Bud!
Roses Going By
Pretty in Pink
The Yellow Rose of Norwich
Pink Blooms and Buds

And there you have it, roses from the Rose of New England and a pretty fountain thrown in for good measure!  Aren't you glad I had that early morning meeting?