A structure in Barkley Farmstead in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  I go here to walk, think, admire, observe.  I am almost always with my five year old charge.  I spend five days a week with this bright charming fellow.  Here is a snippet of my day.  I love my job.

HIM:  Why are there Chrisrmas wreaths hanging in stores before Thanksgiving?

ME: I don’t really know, bud.

HIM: I love Christmas.  I can’t wait.

ME: Don’t rush it, pal.

HIM: Do you know what I love about Christmas?

ME: No.  Tell me.

HIM: I love the presents.

ME: Me too.

HIM: And I love that I get to eat candy canes.

ME: Yup.

HIM: And I love the joy of family.  (No lie. He said that. Verbatim.)

ME: That’s a really nice thing to say.  I’m glad you feel that way.

HIM:  I can’t help it.  It’s so joy-able.  (Also verbatim.)  😉


Visit WordPress and see more of this week’s challenge. Click on the icon, and win a prize. (Not really)

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I headed into the trees, down the brown, leafy path. Enveloped in overgrown greenery. Bumps and stumps jumping out in front of me along the narrow trail.  My intention, to escape.  To find solitude in the depths of the woods.  To find peace in the whisper of the leaves and the skittering of the  squirrels. At least I hoped it was squirrels.  It wasn’t long before I saw him. Encircled in sun light. He beaconed to me. “Come closer,” I thought I heard him say.  “This way.” I’m sure that’s what I heard.

Do you see him? Can you feel him?  He was there.  I swear.


Click on the icon to see more on Cee’s Which Way Challenge. Thanks for the visit and I’d be happy to see you stop by again. 😉


Michele W. @ WordPress has suggested the topic of “juxtaposition” for this week’s photo challenge.  The word itself, I’m sorry to say, leads me to compare my first language – English – with my command of the language – needs work.  I’m not sure I really have the concept of juxtaposition down, but maybe you can tell me.

Here’s what I came up with.

Metal posters displayed one next to the other for your viewing pleasure and to entice you to pick and choose.


Bright Light exhibit at the Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, NJ.  A place where kids can experience science and nature and the wonders of the imagination. (Don’t think I didn’t participate!)

And last, but most certainly not least, me comparing myself to a new acquaintance, to see how successful my weight loss efforts have been.


Now you tell me?  Juxtaposition or just jibberish?

Click on the icon to enter the world of WordPress.

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There’s a super park in Cherry Hill, NJ where I bring my little ‘charges‘.  It’s a quick stroll down the road a piece and makes for some pretty fun photo opportunities.  Apparently, the community has set up a garden in Barclay Farmstead.  I see people every so often, tending to their own little corner of their gardening world – straw hats on heads, tiny spades in hand.   This is the first year I’ve had the chance to see the flowers and veggies in full bloom.  Some are cared for more diligently than others, but it’s a fabulous site to see, nonetheless.  Last week I spotted, hidden among the flowers, the last of this seasons plump, juicy Jersey tomatoes.  I walked the perimeter to see if there was a way to get a closer look but, for good reason I suppose, there was a gate, and it was locked.  More than anything else that I could see, there were lots and lots of flowers.

Approaching the garden

Approaching the garden

Walk on…

Getting closer to those ripe tomatoes!

Getting closer to those ripe tomatoes!

I can’t get in!  But it appears that this guy, hidden in the flora and vegetation, did…

Hidden in the garden

Hidden in the garden

And now, he can’t get out!

Hidden in plain sight

Hidden in plain sight

His body language screams frustration!  I hope he at least gets to taste some of those rosy tomatoes.  Jersey has the best!

Click to get to Ailsa‘s ‘hidden’ challenge at where’s my backpack. 🙂



map of the woods

Last week was my first back to my ‘job’.  I am the caregiver for two bright, adorable, charming, rascals five days a week.  Since school hadn’t started yet, and since the weather is holding out – for now – we made a unanimous decision to walk to the park – so we could walk the park.  I can’t resist letting you in on a snippet of our conversation.  If this doesn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will.  It went something like this…

Me:  Stop at the corner and wait for me, please.

Brother #1:  We need to stop, look, and listen.

Me:  Exactly.

Brother #1:  We need to not touch the wires (electrical wires that, in some cases, are brought down to the lawns and bolted in somehow – why on the ground I don’t know.)

Me:  You are absolutely right!  Why do you think that is?

Brother #1:  Momma says it’s because you’ll get dead.

Me: (smiling) And we wouldn’t want to get dead, would we?

Younger Brother: And because they are full of ‘lectrical kermits!

OK.  Do I have a great job or what?


Decisions.  Which way?  They went right.  I went left.

Decisions. Which way? They went right. I went left.

We are getting near the end of the path.  We talked about getting lost and what we would do if that happened.  Brother #1 was  not concerned.  Younger brother had found a very long stick.  Apparently, and according to Brother #1, it was a GPS stick.

The GPS Stick will guide us safely through the woods.  Step back, Garmin!

The GPS Stick will guide us safely through the woods. Step back, Garmin!

It got us around and through and over and back.  We had the best time walking the woods in the park.  I hope you enjoyed a little of my day.  I know I do.  Every day!  How lucky am I? 🙂

Click on the icon below and travel down the road to Cee’s Which Way Challenge @ ceephotography.com.



A trip to the Discovery Museum and a whimsical look at windows.


(see there are some windows in the background, too)


Click here to visit Dawn’s Wonderful World of Windows. 

Thanks for visiting.  I hope these were an unexpected sight and that they brought a smile to your face.  Kids.  You gotta love ’em.


Cee, @ ceephotography.com has presented yet another challenge. Bridges.  I’m afraid I’ve posted most of my bridges.   So I guess I’m not rising to the occasion  and I need to do more pointing and clicking  and maybe the next time some says “bridges” I’ll be ready.  But for now, here’s what’s left of my bridge crossings.   Maybe less is more.  🙂

Since I don’t have enough bridge shots to fill a thimble, maybe you could stop by Cee’s to get a look at what others have to share.  Thanks.  And thanks for stopping by, browsing, liking, and commenting.  As has been the custom, click on the cute little icon below and you’ll be on your way to Cee’s.



In looking through my sparse repertoire of photos, I come to realize that I have very little in the way of smoke and some questionable mirrors.  This, as you might notice, will not stop me from joining in on Ailsa’s challenge on her blog, wheresmybackpackI‘m nothing, if not persistent.  Some of these photos are unedited, and some are just Smoke and Mirrors.

Cut through the smoke and click here to see more on Ailsa’s blog.


Dawn @ lingeringvisions is the gracious host of the title post.  She doesn’t ask for a story, but, like a song, I felt one coming on.  This window is part of the Barclay Farmstead in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  During my visit I came across several old buildings, a few trails, a park with swings and slides, a wooden bridge, and more. I decided to skulk around and take a few photos.  Then my imagination took over…

window Barclay House

“They say she was carrying that basket when she disappeared.”

With a shiver, I turned.  An elderly man, in a long weathered coat, stood beside me.  Apparently he noticed that his silent approach had startled me.    He appeared apologetic,  his eyes almost tear-filled.

“I’m sorry, ” he whispered.

Without waiting for my acknowledgement, he looked toward the basket in the window and continued, softly.

“There were daffodils in the basket when they found it,” he said turning and pointing in the direction of the woods. “She’d been picking them at the time.  On the trail.  On the other side of the bridge.”

I nodded, not sure if I should say anything.

“It was this time of year, 30 years ago,” he continued in his low voice. “Spring. She had beautiful red curls and a green ribbon in her hair.”  He looked at me, still appearing to be near tears.

“Her mother told the authorities that she had asked to gather flowers before going to a friend’s birthday celebration.”  He lowered his eyes. “The basket sits there.  Has all these years.”

I fixed my gaze on the window and tried to picture a red-headed child in her party attire, green bow clipped to her curls.  When I turned, the man had vanished.  I was drawn to the bridge, and as I started to cautiously cross, something in the distance seemed to move between the trees.  Straining to focus, I just couldn’t be sure.

Being a bit put off, I turned to cross back over the bridge when I spotted something slowly waving in the early spring breeze.  There, tied to a rail, was what appeared to be a tattered green ribbon.

bridge Barclay Farmstead

Cross the bridge over to Dawn’s lingeringvisions by clicking here for a look at more windows.

Thanks, Dawn.  You are a fabulous host.  And thanks to you for visiting, liking, and commenting.