So, What Do You Do…..

When the skies are dark and gloomy?

Only one thing! Grab your Scotties and go for a RIDE! The “boys” love going for a ride, and we do, too!

Angus looking up and wondering when we are going to leave for our ride…..
And Murphy, always ready to go for a ride!

The best thing about our pups is that they are perfectly content curling up and taking a nap while we drive. They are such good boys! It is simply amazing how much happiness this little duo brings to our lives!

Tree and Pans?

How’s that to pique your interest?

Yesterday morning, I arose to see this pretty tree outside my window. The colors are so bright, it made it look like the sun was shining brightly!

Alas, those beautiful leaves were about the *only* bright spot yesterday! Once the rain began, it didn’t stop all day. The weatherman has advised us that in our area, we received two inches of rain. The ground is so saturated, I think it is groaning from the weight!

Since I didn’t get to take pictures (non-waterproof camera!) I remembered someone commenting on one of my soap lists about cleaning brass with vinegar and salt. Well, I use a paste that I make to clean my Revere Ware pans (copper bottom) , using vinegar and salt. I have done this for many years, and I never fail to get compliments from people….they always ask how I keep my pans so clean.

I make the paste by adding equal amounts of salt and flour. The flour does nothing more than thicken this mix. It keeps the whole blend together! I mix the salt and flour in one of those little disposable plastic dishes until the salt doesn’t “shine” anymore. The flour in the mix also helps to keep the vinegar and salt from reacting together. I then add vinegar….a little at a time, until a nice paste is formed.

If you have copper on your pans, check this out! I use a stainless steel *scrubber* to wash my pans. When using the paste, the chemical reaction causes the copper to nearly self-clean, but I do use the stainless steel scrubbers when there are tough spots. I buy the stainless scrubbers from a local Italian store for $1.19, but Fuller Brush sells them, 6 for $12.98…on “special” now on their website.

I So Love The Autumn!

This weather has had me feeling so alive! I just love it when it is chilly and you need to put on a sweater and tug on a pair of socks! The air seems so crystalline and all of the dreadful humidity of summer is just a memory…..

I headed off towards the woods today, but one of the kids called me back. I was a bit disappointed, but I can always take a walk later! I had my camera, as I learned to never walk in the woods without it about three years ago, when I nearly stepped onto a gorgeous little fawn lying on one of the trails. You just never know when you might meet up with a cool critter in the woods. (I nearly forgot the really cute flying squirrel we encountered several years ago when the kids and I went on a walk!)
As I passed the side of the house, I saw a honey bee working away on my Aster plant. I got so excited and took (only) one picture before it flew off. I was so psyched when I saw how well my one picture turned out. You can see all the pollen on his little body…..

I have enjoyed this summer, as I learned about the Wild Sunflowers in my woods….the Wild Asters….now, can you name this flower? It is a pale lavender color…

These are growing out on the back hill behind the house, alongside the Wild Asters and Goldenrod. They look a lot like daisies. As I was getting this picture, what should fly by? Well, it sounded like an aircraft, but upon further inspection, it was a SUPER size Bumblebee. See the flowers above? Well, his body was the same length as the diameter of those flowers. At *least* an inch long. I did get only one picture of the big boy:

I wish I could have gotten this fellow’s profile, but I think you can see how he pretty much fills the entire flower with his exceedingly large body. Unfortunately, (for me) he did NOT want to be photographed, and when he headed towards me, I left his domain rather rapidly!!!!

So, instead of cool autumnal pictures, I once again have BEE pictures! I certainly will try to get some more pictures of our trees over the course of their changing color…..

Beautiful Day in the Bristolwood

It all began this afternoon when I looked out the kitchen window and saw that some of the Maples in the back yard were beginning to show some color….

I decided to wander out front to the road and see if our “special” Maple was putting on its fall extravaganza. This tree is REALLY pretty in the fall. And, sure enough, it is beginning to turn.
It is located in the left of the center of the picture, and is pretty reds/oranges at the top.

As I walked back up the driveway, I realized the BEST part of this day was that it was relatively warm, but WILDLY breezy! AND, the sky was BLUE!

I decided to give a birdseye view of the woods that surround us here. Here is one of our ATV trails leading up into the woods.

And the further up the path we go, the prettier it is!

And, if one takes eyes OFF the path, this is what one would see!

It is kind of funny how when you look at something every day, you don’t seem to notice how much it has changed. This was the case as I looked at the tree to the side of the garage. I stood there looking at it, and wondering to myself WHEN did it get so BIG?

Happy Autumn!

Got Spiders?

Ewwww…WHO actually *likes* spiders? Well, I am sure there is someone somewhere that does, but to me, they are a bit too “creepy”! This handsome specimen had spun a nice web with one tangent connecting from atop my mother-in-law’s house to a rhrododendron bush. The spider’s web was centered at about eye level and it was just sitting there awaiting some juicy insect to fly by! My mother-in-law grabbed a long stick to remove it, and I bravely volunteered to do it for her. I knocked it down, and the spider grabbed hold of the stick. As I walked down the driveway, the happy little critter danced right on up the stick….before it got too close (about 4′ away from MOI!) I tapped the stick on the ground, bumping the hitchiker off, and he scurried away. Happily, he headed for new grounds!

After being totally creeped out by the spider caper, we went on to much happier things…like the
Hydrangea bush. My mom had bought me a Hydrangea last year, and I planted it outside. The poor little bush was so tiny, and my mother-in-law mentioned in passing that the bushes need acid soil. After using Miracid on the plant, it grew a lot bigger within a short period of time. My mother-in-law was showing me her bush when we looked down low, and there was a bract of flowers just beginning to bloom!

I love those blue flowers with the pink tinge in the centers. They are so pretty! My mother-in-law lives near the city, but has such a nice place. There are old and very big oaks growing there, and I so enjoyed her yard . As I listened, I heard the chickadees making their little happy chirps above my head. This time of the year, they don’t make the typical “chick-a-deedeedee” sound, but a short chirp, sounding as though saying, “hurry, hurry, the winter is coming!” I also spotted a pair of hairy woodpeckers. The male’s little red “cap” on his head was so outstanding as he landed on the dark bark of an oak tree.

We stopped at a Bruegger’s Bagels and there was one section of their landscaping that was so stunning. It was a Holly bush with cranberry colored Mums planted next to it. I snapped a picture (hurriedly….we were running late for an appointment) but the colors look so faded….

It is funny how colors can set moods…these plantings just gave such a sense of “Christmas” with the reds and greens. It sure was pretty! Oh, and speaking of pretty! While I was outside taking pictures the day I was sick, I took this one of the Wild Asters.

A Friday Funny…..

When we took out little camping expedition to the Buffalo area last week, we stopped by a large craft and hobby store. They sold some of the coolest slot cars and train sets we have seen! On that note, they happened to have a real caboose sitting outside the store in the parking lot. After looking around the store a bit, I climbed up the steps to check out the caboose.

So, the caboose looked like it was still in its original condition. It had a little table and chairs, seats to sit really high up in the center, a little counter with a water tank and sink for “running water”, a coal stove. And, hmmm….what is behind the door? Why, it is a toilet!

And, above the toilet…………

Feeling SO Much Better!!!

When I got up this morning, I could not believe how much better I felt! After having a terrible time trying to breathe last night, the contrast between last night and this morning was startling!
I was able to do all of my normal work throughout the day today, and even ran out to do errands.

I wanted to get a shot of my Aster plant I bought…a couple of days ago, it looked like it was going to BURST with flowers, and when I went out today, wow! The picture does no justice. I took it at dusk, and the flash kind of wrecked the exposure. Anyway, the mum behind the Aster looks so cool, as the color is almost the same as the Aster centers.

Earlier in the day, I went out back and saw a little Bumblebee struggling in the pool. It was almost in the very center, so I grabbed a pole and reached in for the little critter. You could tell it was a survivor, as it hopped right onto the pole, looking grateful to be out of the water. I set it down on a goldenrod flower and it sat there for probably 15 minutes. It was so pathetic….It was using its legs to ruffle its “fur”. Even after several minutes, it still looked like a wet teddy bear!

It did make it possible to get a really nice Bumblebee picture!!!

How DOES One Survive a Cold?

Right now, I am seriously thinking this isn’t *really* a cold. I am, after all freezing, then boiling, and feeling generally like someone parked a very large vehicle atop my body. Oh, I shall survive; I guess I am just a wimp when it comes to being sick!

One of my symptoms is that the more I scurry about, I get a little disoriented, feeling like I need to sit down! Having said that, when a little sun came poking through the clouds earlier, I ran out with camera in hand, determined to get a good picture of one of *my* Bumbles on those beautiful Wild Asters. The contrast in color is so breathtaking! So, here it is…..

Well, now that my goal for the day is accomplished, I shall rest.

Before the Rain Comes Again

This afternoon when I came outside, I noticed this little fellow *hanging around* in a blue barrel I left outside! Isn’t it pretty? I just loved the stripes on the shell.

When we first built the house, I went down to a local market store that sells vegetables, flowers, and local goodies. As I looked around, I spotted some miniature roses that were so beautiful. I asked the woman how much care they required, as I had no good results with roses in the past. She assured me that the bushes were quite hardy, so I bought three of them for $10. One was a yellow color, one red, and the third a beautiful yellow center, with a salmon orange halo surrounding the centers. Well, within a couple of years, the yellow rose died. The red produced every year; but, the most beautiful of all was the most prolific of all! After 13 years, this little bush still is faithful to give me so much joy as well as color!

The “only” special care my little rose gets is a fresh blanket of cedar chips every spring and I do trim back the dead canes in the spring. Before winter comes with its icy cold winds and snow, I also build up the chips to kind of “insulate” my special little bush.
While we were gone, the back hill decided to put on its spectacular little splash of color! I had forgotten about this, as Mark usually insists that we weed whack the hill before it grows up too big. This year, he just never got around to the hill, so the “weeds” took over! As I was admiring the new Aster plant I had bought, I realized that the “purple weed” growing with the Goldenrod sure looks a good deal like the Aster, albeit MUCH taller!

So, are these actually wild Asters?

As I was happily snapping pictures, I noticed the BIGGEST, juiciest Bumblebee! This one was a real prize….but, as I came close, off it went….I caught up with it once again, but this Bumble obviously did NOT want to be photographed. Ah well…..It sure would have been stunning sitting on these plants.