This week, the Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to share a symbol and explain what it means to us.

Since we are using personal symbols — as opposed to universal, religious, or mathematical symbols — I’m using my old tractor.


My husband gave me the tractor for our tenth anniversary, just a couple of months after we moved into this house. I had admired them, lined up in front of the farm up the road and had noticed some of them were for sale.

72-Tractor-License- roses lilies

I said “That would be so cool in the garden. Kids could play on it. We could climb it. It’s a reminder of our rural roots. An old farm tractor.”


About a week later, a flatbed truck showed up and dropped the tractor in our driveway. My son and a bunch of his friends pushed it into a better location. We found an old Model-T steering wheel and a long out-of-use license plate. Owen scored a seat on eBay.

tractor with daffodils

We built a rock garden around it and planted the Japanese maple in front of it. The tractor can never be removed from the garden without completely deconstructing it.

For fifteen years, the old 1927 Fordson tractor has lived in the garden, surrounded by day lilies, rocks from the old stone fence in the woods. Roses trail over it. It’s part of the land, part of our garden, a symbol of our life here in the Blackstone Valley.

Some people think it’s rusty junk. They don’t have a clue.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Favorite Color in Nature

Garry watering the fuchsia

My hunky husband waters the plants. It’s part of the joy of summer. And the rich purple and red of the fuchsia. Fuchsia is such a rich color, it has become a color of its own.

fuchsia trailing summer macro

As the season reaches its peak, the fuchsia begin to grow long, with trailing branches dropping past the fence on the deck.

Very macro fuchsia

I see fewer new blossoms, fewer buds, but more seed pods. It is high summer for us, but rounding the corner to the end of the season for fuchsia.

The pictures were taken using the Olympus PEN PL-6 with an f2.8 60 mm macro lens or the Pentax Q7 using an f1.8 8.5 mm prime “normal.”

Trailing fuchsia in July (Pentax Q7)

Trailing fuchsia in July (Pentax Q7)


A Photo a Week Challenge: Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit. I’ve become phobic and afraid of it. So much of it has been genetically modified. It doesn’t look like it used to look.

The big fruit is the orange

The big fruit is the orange

Oranges bigger than grapefruit, but the orange skin is half an inch thick and there’s no juice in it. Strawberries the size of plums, mushy and oddly tasteless. Peaches that weigh a pound each, as sweet as cardboard with the same texture.




Those weird fruits also rot pretty much immediately, before a single day passes. So far, they’ve left a few things alone. As far as I can tell, grapefruit and tangerines are still safe. But I won’t buy most fruit except at local farm stands. It’s like consuming an alien invader. Who knows what that stuff will do to you?


A Photo a Week Challenge: Action Shot

Summertime - GO

None of these pictures are brand new, though some are quite recent, taken within the past few months or weeks.


Definitely action shots … and that’s the point, right?


Action — at our age — usually means walking and talking. At the same time! At each age, we redefine the basics.

Schubert Theater boston night

From the lovely Nancy Merrill, this is the Photo A Week challenge. Action shots!!


A Photo a Week Challenge: Beards


Well. That presented a minor problem since Garry is clean-shaven. But aha! My son has a beard and here’s a perfect reason to take some new, updated portraits of my son.



It was his 46th birthday just the other day. I bought him a Blue-Tooth speaker to go with his phone, but new portraits seem very appropriate too. Beard and all.

Owen in profile

Owen in profile

I did not feel inspired by today’s Daily Rerun, so I hope this will be sufficient for today. There is too much else going on right now. Not bad stuff. Just stuff. Plus, I remember not enjoying this prompt the first time it came around.


I’ve got a bible cyst (also known as a bible bump) on my left wrist. No kidding. It’s not quite as funny as it sounds.

It has been a nuisance for a while. Since the last round of life and death heart surgery, it has moved down the priority list from a serious problem to a minor aggravation. Everything is relative.

It’s been on my wrist for years. It’s annoying. It came and went (typical behavior for cysts) and has made it impossible to wear a watch. Hardly a medical emergency.

This is a ganglion cyst on the inner right wri...

One day, about two years ago, it blew up. Got huge. Too much typing? It hurt when I moved the wrist.

I talked to the doctor about it. He thought I should address the cyst and the arthritis in my hands at the same time.

Before that happened, the cyst deflated — and my heart blew up. It’s two years later. A lot of heart surgery, but I’ve still got the cyst, which still comes and goes. Sometimes it hurts, other times it itches. I live with it. I have bigger things on my plate.

What makes it a Bible Cyst? 

Ganglion cysts, typically located on wrists (though sometimes on knees, fingers or toes) are known as “bible cysts,” alternatively as  “Gideon’s disease.”

Why? Glad you asked. In the good old days, the treatment for ganglion cysts was to give them a hard whack with a heavy book, breaking the cyst and draining it. Since the bible was usually the heaviest book in the house (often the only book), though I’ve heard a full-size dictionary, Oxford or Webster, will do the job just fine. You see the connection, right?

Somehow, getting whacked on the cyst with a heavy book seems a solution I’d rather skip.

Ironically, the old “whack the cyst with the bible” apparently works every bit as well as any modern surgery. Better. Cysts thus whacked rarely return. I suspect the whackee would never tell anyone if it did recur. One bible whacking is probably enough for any wrist.

It gives a new meaning to the expression “bible thumper”!