Good To Be Home!

We had a great time out wandering around NY state. There really is a lot of beauty to be found throughout the state. We spent some time looking in the Adirondacks and and as we drove we saw some breathtaking scenery. We passed through several small towns, including Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We discovered that the town was actually named for the father of James Fennimore Cooper.

All in all, we enjoyed some of NY’s nice state parks. They provided some very nice campsites for our wandering little home on wheels!

But, all in all, it really is nice to be home in the Bristolwood once again. And Murphy? Well, he is just glad to be proven useful. He really is such a good-natured pup!

More About The Wind Generators

Well, I have decided to add some pics of the turbines we photographed and let them speak for themselves. We understand that Governor Pataki is pressing for more “green power”, IE, power from clean sources such as wind turbines. Many folks are opposed, because they feel that groupings of these (VERY large) structures becomes unsightly. To others, these stand as a symbol of American ingenuity and independence. I must admit, I was fascinated by the stands of these, feeling almost like a kid watching pinwheels spinning….

Ben is about 5 feet tall, so you can see this “tube” for a tower is BIG!

This is the junction where the “blades” fit in.

Big blades!!!

The backside of the “mill”, behind the blades. Kind of like a big room where work can be done in the event of a problem with the turbine.

Setting up a new turbine, using VERY large equipment!!!!

Escape From The Bristolwood

We decided late the other night that a small adventure would be just the ticket! So, we packed up the camper and took off!

We had been interested in the Tug Hill Plateau of NY, because we had read that it was friendly to ATV’s! That is hard to imagine, as in our own neck of the woods, ATV’s are *greatly* frowned upon. In fact, we had been told it was illegal to even consider riding on our (partially) dirt road.

I really enjoy living in the camper, as we cannot bring too much “stuff”, and it only takes minutes to clean everything up! We spent a couple of days at Whetstone Gulf State Park. It is a very cute little park and is surrounded by all kinds of roads that can be used for both ATV’s and snowmobiles. As Mark dug into more information, he found that 10 adjoining towns have opened their town roads to ATV’s! WOW! Try THAT in the Bristolwood!

One surprise we got was that the Tug Hill Plateau is home to a large “windmill farm”.

If you look closely at the above picture, you can see LOTS of wind generators! I know this might not be too exciting for some, but these structures were fascinating to Mark and me! Mark counted 135 in one place we were, but then he lost count!

We decided to drive some of the roads that were open to ATV’s, so Mark plotted a route, using GPS. This turned into one of the most *amusing* events! Our 2 wheel drive truck traversed some roads that resembled logging roads, as opposed to “country” roads! We laughed hysterically (perhaps more from nervousness than FUN!) as we drove through huge puddles of water…(wondering in the back of our minds…how DEEP!) Of course, our cell phones were totally useless as they read “No Service”! Mark giggled, wondering how we would ever get out of there, had we gotten stuck! We saw lots of little stone “fences”, that is, piles along the roads (sometimes, better called *paths*). I commented perhaps the Indians put them there, and Mark said yeah!, and no one else has been on these roads SINCE! We never did see any other cars, trucks, nor signs of life!

As we drove, we were able to see many of the access roads for the wind generators! We were able to drive right up and get a really close look at these! Although they have been *tabooed* in our own area, they are impressive structures!

I have several more pictures but am having some difficulty uploading them now. I will share later! More to come on our adventures away from home!

Another Hard Loss….

Just after I made my entry into my blog Friday night, I read email and discovered that Ruth had lost her little Megan earlier in the day. The pain of losing three pups in a little over a year has got to be so very overwhelming. I realize that losing a pup isn’t the same as losing a person….or is it? We pour so much of ourselves into their short lives, and our pets often reflect our own personalities. Ruth has added (yet another) special page to the memory of her little Megan.

On Friday, I got a box from the UPS man. He apologized rather profusely for not delivering it to me earlier in the day. He explained that the box had gotten buried under some larger ones! (this is not my regular driver, who was on vacation) So, with trembling hands, I opened my box to find my NEW stick blender!

I remember when I first began making soap, I was so reluctant to even try the stick blender when I first heard about it! I had a Moulinex that was several years old at the time, so I finally decided during one batch to give it a try. WOW! I was a “convert”. That stick blender lasted through my first eight years of soap making! One day, about a month ago, it just kind of died a very slow death. I then pulled out a cheapie blender I had picked up somewhere. It worked well through about two batches of soap, then the stainless shaft went sailing out of the plastic “collar” that attached it to the motor. Not good! So, the past several batches of soap I made, I would hold the handle in one hand, and the metal shaft in the other, making sure it didn’t fall down into the soap. I finally got online, and found a very nice commercial grade blender.

I made a batch of lavender soap yesterday and used my new blender. It worked well. It seems a bit more “mellow” than the hyper blenders I had in the past. The motor is so quiet and it seems to just effortlessly blend everything together!

Strange the things that makes a soaper’s heart happy, isn’t it?

TGIF (Part II)

As stated previously, King Angus is not overly fond of his lowly subservient brother, Murphy. I guess were I forced to give Wee Murphy a fitting name, it should be “Murphy, the Innocent” for that is what he is! So, please examine the following photo, and pay attention to Angus ‘ (r) expression………

As you can see, Angus is just not thrilled that I would force that “little guy” with cooties to sit next to his majesty. Notice also the look on Murphy’s face!

Well, after a few somewhat stern words from me, and the mention of a cookie, Angus does become a bit more submissive, and even tolerant of the little fellow’s presence!

Proving once again, that the way to man’s heart is through his…………

TGIF! (Part I)

This week has been kind of crazy and mixed up. We have been facing some “giants” lately, and it has been causing so much stress! Today, several things began to fall into place, and I thank the Lord for that!

This morning, I went out on the front porch to water all of my plants, and my poor New Guinea Begonia was looking a bit sorrowful…..

So, you thought I was kidding? Have you ever seen a more *abused* looking plant. I guess I was lying when I said it was a “bit sorrowful”, huh? Well, there is a reason for my little plant looking so pathetic…
Yup, some silly little Junco birdie decided my poor plant was the perfect nesting ground! I did carefully lightly water the plant and it came back! I had not watered the plant since last week, so I guess that bird fooled me in her covert manuever by building a nest AND adding eggs!

Of course, we do have really cool birdie visitors who do NOT make nests in my hanging baskets! We derive so much entertainment from the little hummers that come to our feeder. They have been coming ever since I hung the first feeder up about 12 years ago. I don’t know the lifespan of a hummingbird, but I suppose we have grandbirds and great grandbirds by now! This little bugger was resting, wings at her side, as she sipped from the feeder.

And speaking of hummingbirds…about three weeks ago, we were getting ready to go out. The kids had left the garage door open, and as I was getting ready to get into the truck, they called out to me, rather panic-stricken. I ran to the garage and they informed me there was a wee hummer in the garage. I got a broom and just held it up to kind of “drive” the bird forward. It worked, and the little critter landed down on the sidewalk just outside the garage door. I reached down and it “hopped” up onto my hand. As I raised my hand up, it flew off! I could feel its tiny body brush against my hand, and the feathers actually felt more like “fur” than feathers. What a treat it was to see one of these little dive bombers up close!

As Mark and I enjoyed some time just relaxing on the front porch, the “boys” began to make some noise, indicating their disenchantment with being left inside the house. I quickly rectified this, grabbing both of them and corraling them onto the porch.

In this house, there is one king, and he reigns over his one serf with great power and majesty . (at least in HIS own mind) The king’s name is Wee Angus of Bristolwood. Angus makes sure that all transactions within his kingdom are done according to his own specific rules and all creatures must follow his policies and procedures with utmost care to detail. Now, Angus’ one lowly servant is our dear little Murphy. Murphy is the perfect servant…yielding with grace and dignity.

As soon as the boys made their way onto the porch, the king lunged into the vacant chair next to Mark, and Murphy took his humble place below Angus, silently coming to rest under the chair. You see, the king must always rest above the the younger. Of course, I discourage such behavior, so…to keep Angus from feeling too superior, I grabbed little Murphy and placed him *next* to Angus!

Where Did This Day Go?

This was one of those hurry and get nowhere FAST days!

I got up and released some more of my Scottie soaps from their molds. I am pretty pleased with these soaps. They are a bit more work, as pouring soap into molded designs requires a bit of patience and some skill…trying to get them *just right* is a bit of a challenge. Once they are done, it is such a relief, and seeing them on the drying shelves makes me want to SING!!! Here is a peek at how they look:

The paw print is a Creme Brulee Scent and the Creme Brulee Scotties will be made tomorrow. The one bar that is missing is my Almondoolah, which I released this morning. So, all in all, I will be making up 10 differnt “flavors”! I came up with some cool new soaps for this “project”. One of those is my Yogurt and Herbs Lavender Soap. I made the soap with yogurt for half of the liquids and also added powdered Lavender flowers. It came out a really pretty golden to tan color with dark flecks from the ground flowers.

After receiving my UPS shipments and packing orders, we left to take my MIL to the doctor. While Mark and his mom were at the doctor’s, I ran to Wegmans and the post office. Then we picked them up and drove my MIL back home. We stayed at her house for awhile, doing some simple little things for her. It was so >>hot<<>

As we drove home, we passed a small Farmer’s Market. It was nearly time for their closing, but Ben and I popped out of the truck to have a look. One of the vendors sold jams and jellies…my downfall! I picked up three varieties. The first was for ME! Orange and Walnut Marmalade. The vendor took the jar and told me to look for a “better” one with more walnuts! We dug around and found one with TONS of nuts. (and yes, I *know* you are what you eat!) The second jar was for Mark. I picked up a Hot Pepper Jelly; a pretty green color, made with Jalapeno peppers. As the girl packed it, I told her my husband REALLY likes anything Habanero. She immediately UNpacked the jar, pointing me to the “really hot” jelly, OR, the “turbo” jelly. I opted for the turbo variety, stating that I would pick up some crackers and cream cheese on the way home to help diminish the burn! Last, but not least, intrique overwhelmed me and I picked up a jar of Caramel Apple Jam. As the girl finished packing up my goodies, she left, telling me she had “something for me”. She went to her truck and returned with a package of crackers! I thanked her, and she asked me to return and let her know about how the turbo jelly was received!

When we got home, I nearly knocked everything in front of me aside, anxious to open my purchases!!! I did stop at the store and bought speadable cream cheese. I took a cracker and spread the turbo jelly on without the cream cheese. WHOA Mama!!! That was HOT but GOOD!!!!! I ate another with cream cheese….just a tiny bit. Can you say YUMMY? Mark also gave a big thumbs up! I also opened the Caramel Apple Jam…oh MY! Isn’t there a law against food tasting SO good?

This vendor must have had about 30 different types of jams and jellies. Will I return to *test* more? You BET! And, I think I am going to be eating more toast and crackers!!!

A Day of Gladness and Sadness

After Murphy and Angus and I went out this morning, I hurried and made up two batches of soap. The heat was already turned up…70 degrees at 5:30, and as I looked up into the woods, I could see the humidity in the air beginning to build. After cleaning up my soap mess, Murphy and I went out onto the “verranda” to enjoy the day before the heat really started.

As I sat in my chair, Murphy jumped up on the chair beside me, looking at me as though to ask how he might please me! I told him to “stay!” as I ran inside the house to grab my camera. When I came back, he was still sitting just as I had left him!

Can you guess what single word I said to get Murphy to pose in this “classical Scottie” head tilt?
If you guessed “cookie”, good for you!

For some funny reason, Murphy really enjoyed sitting next to to this “Scottie”! I guess he figures he can make people feel just as *welcome* as that hard ole Scottie that never even moves!!!

This evening, as I downloaded email, I saw a message from Ruth with the header, “Peace Be With You, Angus”. The tears began, and my heart ached. Ruth and her Scotties were the source of so many beautiful pictures that entertained so many people and made them smile. When little Seamus left last year, it was so hard to imagine….Ruth no longer referred to her little ones as the “Mainline 5”, but rather, the Mainliners. Angus was the eldest of the pack; he was 10 years old. And so, through tear stained eyes, I come to the realization that these precious little ones are given on loan to us for such a short time.

God bless Ruth and Johnny as they tread through these dark and sorrowful times.

And so, if you have a little pet that is dependant upon you, please give them a big hug from me!

Sometimes There Are Just No Words

This evening, when I opened my email, as I read a post from a dear friend to the Scottie world, my heart felt as though it would break. Ruth said that her dear little Scottie girl, Megan, was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer. Then, there was another letter from Ruth. This one told about her dear eldest Scottie, Angus, who also was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer.

Megan’s littermate, Seamus, left this world for the Rainbow Bridge

in March of 2005. This was a great loss, and now Ruth will soon be saying good-bye to two more of her babies sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Ruth’s Scotties were known world-wide for bringing smiles to the faces of dog lovers everywhere! Ruth has the most wonderful ability to capture her wee ones with the camera and one of her pictures was even published in the book Dogs 24/7.

Ruth called her Scotties the “Mainline 5”, as she lives on the route by that name near Philadelphia.

And so, as a tribute to my dear friend, Ruth, and her precious babies, I will leave you with her