Old or New, Jazz is a Fine Wine!


“Jazz is like wine. When it is new, it is only for the experts, but when it gets older, everybody wants it.” — Steve Lacy, Jazz Musician and Composer

Few nights sound better to me than dusting off an old Miles Davis/ Thelonious Monk album and dropping it on the record player. While that spins, let’s dust off that bottle of French red we’ve been holding on to. The makings of a perfect evening!

I guess that would make me a non-expert though, and I’m okay with that!

Come to think of it, I don’t possess an old bottle of red. I guess I really don’t have any old jazz albums, or even a record player at the present time.

You know what I do have? A fresh bottle of wine and Pandora, set to the Thelonious Monk station. The makings of a perfect evening!

We may be experts or not even close. The wine and music might be old or brand new. All combinations work in this scenario.!  As long as the love and appreciation is there, you have the makings of a perfect evening!

Sprung forth from the vine or the sax, these forms of art have always adored the past and looked forward to future productions, as should we.

The old jazz musician, Steve Lacy, left us with this cool quote along with so many melodies to be admired. Let’s keep the eternal cycle of music and wine in mind and listen to a new, talented, jazz musician also named Steve Lacy, with his song, “Dark Red”.

4 Great Ways to Walk Around and 1 Not So Good!

…the walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise… but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day. If you would get exercise, go in search of the springs of life. Think of a man’s swinging dumbbells for his health, when those springs are bubbling up in far-off pastures unsought by him!

– Henry David Thoreau

Today, of all things, is National Walk Around Day! Nope. Not kidding! Nobody seems to know who started this, or why. But here’s 5 great ways to strap on those shoes and walk around, and 1 really not-so-good way. Ha!

1- Walk around the neighborhood – one of the best ways to meet new people. Everyone used to do this all the time. Let’s start doing it again, and make friends of our neighbors! And your dog(s) will love it, too.

2- Managing by walking around – a great idea a few decades ago, where bosses actually got to know people and processes, and ways to make them happier and better by actually seeing them as they walked around the shop! – MBWA

3- Walk around a mud puddle, a ladder, broken glass…. you get the idea. Avoid unnecessary personal injury and trauma by paying attention to your immediate surroundings and practicing caution in where you walk.

4- Walk around arguments – An idea best described as discretion, a rarer virtue these days, knowing when it’s a good time and when it’s a bad time to talk to someone about something you don’t really completely agree on.

5- Walk around the woods or the beach – find the time to relax in nature and just live, take in a brook or a sunset. Just walk off your troubles! We often forget this can be so beneficial to our mental and physical health.

And then there is the not-so-good one:

1- Walk around crime, abuse, injustice and pain – Sometimes you have to “walk through” these things. It’s the only way to a meaningful life and a positive future.

And while we’re at it, let’s allow the elephants to walk in peace and safety. Seems like these gentle giants have a right to enjoy this walking around thing, too!

Here’s a great walk around tune!

Baseball, Everything Spring!


“Hope Springs Eternal……” — Alexander Pope

The opening of Baseball means Spring!

And Spring signifies optimism.

A baseball field is the perfect insignia for Spring. It spends all winter being ignored. Mother Nature gives it no breaks. The muck that is the infield; the mire the outfield has become…how are these the same majestic grounds??

Then spring arrives. Crowds gather to cheer. Vendors sing out offerings of hot dogs and beer. The organist expresses her tunes for all to hear.

Alexander Pope is the second most frequently quoted writer after William Shakespeare. He is most well known for his translation of Homer. Baseball, played in countless nations and described by every language imaginable needs no translation for its version of a homer. That crack of the bat speaks all languages.

Happy Spring everyone! And as my beloved Chicago Cubs showed us last year, there is always, always a reason to be hopeful!!

Join Bill Murray in a rousing chorus of  “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”.

4 Ways to Die and 4 Means to Resurrect

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. – Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Death, the ultimate end game, or is it? There are many deaths. Here are 4 very common ones:
1- Death through malice – They come too quickly and too often – in wars, torture, murder, genocide and democide.  It makes you ask: “Are humans really innately good?” Why do we bring about the early demise of so many of our own? We must cease being the “irrelevant majority” and see to it that our voices are heard and actions felt to end the forces of evil in our world.
2- Death by suicide, neglect, famine and abandonment – Thousands die of hunger and abandonment, refugees thrown from their homes. The 2nd highest cause of death among the young is suicide. Children fighting depression and mental illness, living in a world where they cannot seem to fit simply choose to quit trying. The only answer is real, on-the-ground and present intervention, whether it is food supply or “presence” supply, a listening ear, a caring heart, open hands and sharing arms. All of us have our part.
3-Death through disease – Thousands die from preventable diseases, as well as diseases that could be eradicated through focused and humanitarian research and health care. And this is the right of every person. Imagine what would happen if we re-dedicated war funding to health issues? What kind of world could we bring into existence, if this were a true priority?
4-Death through aging – All of us grow older each day. The aged and the sick are always with us. They should be treated with the dignity and respect owed them as fellow human beings. Can we know all the best ways to do this? No, but we can be sure that it always involves caring, love and compassion.
Then there is Resurrection:
1- A US Army soldier carries a lost and abandoned child and his family to a safe zone, away from the chaos and killing that they have already experienced too much of.
2- A Catholic Relief Services or Red Cross volunteer enters a village of starving people in Central Africa, bringing food and hope to all he or she will meet this day.
3- A research team, through years of frustrating and seemingly futile efforts, discovers a breakthrough in the battle to defeat lymphoma. And then the company that employs them makes the cure readily available at a reasonable cost, so that patients are not left behind because it will bankrupt their families to provide this.
4- A Hospice nurse provides a bath and warm clothing and the gift of her presence to an elderly woman dying of late stage Alzheimers. She is not in the work for the pay nor to even be remembered, but because it is her calling.
Where there are Lazaruses, dead or left for dead, there is the need and the real possibility of resurrection. May we all learn to be the light of Resurrection!

This Week at RitA Instagram!

We launched our Instagram just a bit ago. Take a look! (@rosesinthealley).

Click on our Instagram logo below or here and follow us!

I believe there's a gnome that stands out here at night and hopefully lets us into the some astonishing club. #gnomegate #woodengate #gate #stonegate #stonesandfences #photography #photpgrapher #annarbor #arboretum #puremichigan #RitA
April, don't fool us! Please look a lot more like this than March did! #photographer #photography #RitA #tulips #oldtownchicago #oldtown #chicago #april #aprilflowers #easter #flowers
Get out & enjoy this beautiful day!! It's so ☀️☀️ in the mitten! #puremichigan #annarbor #michigan #getout #getoutside #explore #parks #publicpark #countyfarmpark
Maybe decide to grow in every which way, why limit your directions?? For more on how indecision is OK check out today's blog. #crookedtree #michigantrees #puremichigan #michigan #indecisive #grow #RitA #indecision #trees #crookedtrees
This weekend's wine and film pairing. A League of Their Own with Mas de LA Dame (Farm of the Lady. Happy Opening Weekend baseball fans!! #photography #baseball #baseballmovie #baseballmovies #openingday #RitA RitApairings #moviesandwine #movingpictures #film