So Many Mixed Emotions

I took this picture of a flower on my Fushia plant hanging on the front porch. I took it on Wednesday, during a brief downpour, when the sun suddenly poked through the clouds and cast a little “spotlight” on the dripping flower. It was just so beautiful!

I had company on Tuesday. A friend came with two of her daughters. Cindy is an amazing woman…mother of eight, yes eight!, children! She came with her second youngest, as well as an older daughter who is expecting her first baby! I met the older girl (only 23) at a luncheon we had for a bunch of us soap making friends a couple of years ago. (Emily had come with her mom.) I do have photos from our day and will hopefully blog about this when I get the new blog set up. (it is getting very close!)

Cindy and the girls left our house at about 7:15 on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning, while listening to the news, I heard about a terrible accident that occurred Tuesday night at about 10 pm. Five young girls who just graduated from high school were in an suv, driving to a cottage on the lake. Apparently, the driver oversteered into the oncoming lane after passing another car. She crashed into an 18-wheeler and both vehicles were instantly engulfed in flames.
The driver of the semi was unhurt, and his attempt to try to save the girls in the suv was futile. All five girls were killed.

Mark and the kids and I had to go out today. On our way home, we could not miss the scene where the girls lost their lives….a car in the opposite lane had its headlights on a small memorial that has been made in tribute to the girls. An older man and woman were adding their own flowers. This had such an impact on Mark and me…a grim reminder of just how fragile this life is, no matter what our age is.

On a happy note, yesterday, Ben called to me up by the house as he was down near the road. He kept yelling something about “deer”! What in the world? I walked around the house, and I instantly saw what he was so excited about! A little fawn was walking along one of our paths. It looked so tiny! As I edged nearer and nearer, it looked quite tentative, then suddenly darted forth, springing as though it was “launched” into the woods. I did indeedy have my camera, but that fawn was F-A-S-T! I was sorry to miss the opportunity to capture the little one on the camera, but when one sees these little woodland creatures, there is a sense of having seen something almost “forbidden”…..

Well, I Knew it was Coming!

Yup. I have been blogging for almost one year now, and if you have seen my blog, you know that I love putting up pictures as much a writing.

Blogger offers 1024 MB of space for photos and I kept seeing my numbers edging closer and closer to that dreaded 1024….Last night, I was informed that in order to upload three photos, I was going “over the top”.

I know that many bloggers have accounts with Snapfish, Flik’r, and Photo Bucket to store their photos. I will be looking into doing such, but I really like photos on the blog. ;o( I have found out that I do have an account that I already pay for that sponsors blogs, so I am going to have Mark look into that for me, too.

So….it looks like my Blogger account and I will be parting ways soon. It was nice while it lasted!
If I am not here for a day or two, I will be back. And yes, I will certainly leave my forwarding address here!

Everyday is a Celebration!

This morning, Mark and I were chatting and we both agreed that each day should be lived as though it is a celebration. Not one of us knows the number of our days, so we should live each day in joyous anticipation, celebrating another day of life with those we love!

Late this morning (too late, I might add!), I decided to begin making lunch. Well, time got away from me, so we had a very late lunch or early dinner!

Everyone thought that shish kabobs would be good *again*! Well, since I had everything in the fridge, why not? I cut up all of the chicken breasts a couple of nights ago, so I just placed them into a ziplock bag. Then I sliced all the veggies…..

Mark *loves* the Zesty Savory Marinade from Wegman’s. It is kind of spicy/hot, but it really has a nice flavor. After cutting all of the veggies, I threw those into the ziplock bag with the chicken and let everything sit on the counter to meld flavors for an hour.

I had begun some rolls to serve with the shish kabobs, too.

When I made the shish kabobs for Father’s Day, I placed the meat and veggies all on the skewer. Well, Mark informed me that on the cooking shows, the chefs always segregate the ingredients by the amount of time it takes to cook them. So, I placed the peppers, onions, and mushrooms on separate skewers.

This was pretty funny….

The other day, while at WalMart, I saw some tiny hummingbird feeders for 97 cents. I picked one up and got this idea….since I cannot photograph the hummers very well out front, I would hang these tiny feeders on the back side of the house and try to catch them through the window in the kitchen!

So, while the rolls were finishing up proofing in the oven, I sat on a chair, trying to “catch” a hummer….

(I ***love*** my new stove! To keep the rolls at a nice steady 100 degrees while they rise…what a tremendous feature!) So….anyway,

Yup! The hummers like the little feeders! Hurrah. It is so cool to be able to watch them as I wash dishes at the sink! First thing tomorrow, I need to refill this feeder, as they drank all of the sugar water!

Well, I had to get up off my chair after I placed the rolls in the oven to bake. I needed to run outside to the back deck to check the shish kabobs on the grill. And, when I came back to the kitchen……………

Uh huh! When I first walked into the kitchen, Angus’s nose was up against the oven door, sniffing to see if he approved of the rolls! When we used to go to my father-in-law’s apartment for the holidays, he always invited Angus to sit on one of these chairs as we ate! So, when Angus saw the empty chair in the kitchen, he must have thought it was for him!

And here is the ned product. How I wish I could send “smell” over the computer! These smelled so delicious, and this is all the family left for me!

We finished up the dishes and cleanup and my poor head was throbbing like crazy! It felt like someone was pressing the sides of my head together above my ears! I finally wound up taking an ibuprophen, and then headed for the hot tub. I sat in there for two cycles (each about 20 minutes) then just sat there in the water with no jets for about another half hour! It was fun being entertained by the little hummingbirds…..they whizzed past my head and made their cute little chirping noise!

I finally came into the house after 7! I decided a cup of Irish tea would be just the thing to end my day, so I brewed a cup!

Well, tomorrow, we are going to be doing testing for the kids for school. It seems so insane that we have to do achievement tests, but I guess the school district has to know we really are doing something here day after day! The kids are finishing up some little things on their school, and we should be completely done by next week. This is a first! We usually end up doing school work well into July!

Happy weekend, and remember to celebrate life!

Keeping Busy and Little Things!

The first order of the day today was to get rid of the wasp nests that they built under the rails of the swimming pool. Ugh! I am not sure why those wasps are so fond of building there, but it seems like every time I look, there are new nests. I ventured forth this morning, new can of wasp and hornet spray in hand. I found and sprayed nine nests.

About an hour later, I went out to remove the nests from the pool. Being lazy, I reached for a small stick on the ground to flick the nests off. I went around the perimeter of the pool, removing the nests, one by one. As I finished, I became keenly aware that the stick I was holding was…..*moving*! Eeeewwwwwww! As I looked down, there was this huge wiggling wormy looking thing crawling inside what appeared to be a cocoon. Rather than passing out on the ground, I raced to the woods, throwing the stick deeply into the thick greenery! Even now, as I think about it, I can feel my skin crawling!

After this, I needed something to relax my somewhat disturbed soul! As I looked around, I saw daisies everywhere! So, I grabbed my camera and began taking pictures. As I snapped photo after photo of beautiful flowers all around, my mind raced back a few years ago to when Michelle was a little toddler….Our neighbors have a daughter who is about a year younger than Michelle, and when the girls were little, we would fashion a daisy headpiece and ohhh and ahhh over our little princesses!
I set the camera down and went on a daisy picking expedition. I picked the largest daisies I could find, making sure to leave many daisies behind. I didn’t want to take too many from any one spot. Then, I sat down and began braiding the daisies into a pretty headpiece. As I worked, I wondered if Michelle would even allow me to place the floral crown upon her brow! When the headpiece was done, I cut several of the pretty yellow daisies from the hanging basket on the back deck. Oh my! What a pretty headpiece this is!

I took several pictures of Miss M with the daisy crown on, but she asked me not to “display” them, so I will honor her request. So, here is a self-portrait with the daisy crown…

OK, so get up off the floor and quit laughing at me!

Let’s see. I took a few pictures of wild roses, too! One of the flowers was so beautifully open, displaying the pretty yellow center. As I took photos, the petals began to fall off….one…by…one!

Here is a bud that was getting ready to open fully…..

And, a tiny bud…

I gave each of the little Scottie boys a bone to chew on; as they worked away, gnawing on their prizes, I uploaded pictures and fiddled around with both of my cameras. I took this picture of a hummingbird sitting on the feeder with my Olympus camera. I love my Nikon so much, but I have to admit, I would certainly miss my little Olympus if I didn’t have it!

And, after all this serious work I was about today, I decided to paint my toenails. hehehe

Ah, Tis Good to be Home!

This was our home away from home…this time, we were parked not in the shade, but more like in a field. Although the shade is great, this area was nice too, as I wasn’t constantly crawling on the floor, cleaning up pine needles, dirt, sand, and whatever else!

Late yesterday afternoon, we had to put the awning away on the camper, as it was so windy, the thing was flapping about, bringing to mind old episodes of The Flying Nun! The camper began swaying, so we decided we had better roll it up!

Now, mind you, I was not suffering at all from *brain freeze*, but instead, from *brain MELT!* I should have taken so many more pictures, but I was just exhausted from the seemingly scalding temperatures. It was so hot, you could have cooked a roast in the sun!

Anyway, when we arrived late Friday morning, there were very few campers there. By Friday night when we came back after the laser show, the campground was nearly filled to capacity. There were class A’s, fifth wheels, tow behinds, pop-ups and even many tents! And, my oh my, there were campfires galore!

By 11 AM yesterday morning, this was the scene! Nearly everyone that was surrounding us was gone!

The place looked so deserted, except for the little covering thing down next to the bathhouse.

And there we were…off in the distance!

Mark decided he wanted to just drive around a little yesterday. We stopped by a Dairy Queen, which is a treat as there are none near our home. I stopped at Wegman’s and bought goodies to make shish kabobs and a Greek salad for dinner.

Because my brain was in total *brain MELT* mode, I did not photograph the beautiful kabobs! They were so colorful and drat!; they would have been such a nice photo! Ah well…I made them with marinated chicken, red pepper, purple onion, yellow pepper, and mushrooms. They were so pretty!

Since we had the entire campground basically to ourselves, we played outside for quite some time while the food cooked, then ate outside at the picnic table. It felt so cool to look over this huge expanse of field and see no other people within eyesight! Oh, and as soon as the sun began its descent, the temperatures cooled off so nicely!

This morning, we got up and decided to hitch right up. The kids have the system down pat, so Mark and I need only to double check on connections. Off we went, back towards home. As always, when we pulled up the driveway, I wondered to myself, *why* do we ever even leave
*here*? I mean, with all the beauty that surrounds us, we need only go out the front door to be in what many folks actually pay money to see!

Of course, there are other people to consider, eh? I mean, what do the kids think?……

Ayup….there is *no* place like home!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to any fathers that might be reading today!

We have been out and about with our camper once again. This time, we went to Darien Lakes Resort and Theme Park. (used to be a 6 Flags park, but was recently sold) Each year, the park has a homeschool week, but we were unable to do the entire week…so, we went on Friday.
The kids love going and they have one special friend who meets them there each year. This year, when we arrived, yikes!!! There must have been well over fifty school buses from public schools all over New York state! The kids’ friend had already made plans to meet some kids from the school district we are from after he discovered they were going to attend on Friday as well.
So, the kids were off and running….we always followed behind them before, so this became a new experience for us. We communicated via cell phone and Mark and I were both a little reluctant about this new protocol. However, it did allow us to spend some time relaxing near the lake and taking in some sights.

This is a beautiful lake that is located in the park. It is small, but very pretty. On one side of it is a hotel that is also part of the park, costing mega bucks to stay there! The park also has a nice campground where you can either bring in your own camper, or rent one daily or weekly. Once again, the pricing is quite steep. We park our camper at a beautiful state park nearby. Much cheaper and the noise level is *much* less intense. Our noisiest problem is birds!

There were several families of Canada Geese swimming nearby. They are so beautiful and graceful; just watching them made us feel so peaceful! This family was a changing one…the youngsters must be in their “teen” years, as their little “kid” fluff is being replaced with feathers. Even though these youngsters are getting large, the parents still keep a very close on on their offspring. We saw a woman and her kids trying to head down the walkway to their hotel room..the adult geese thought the humans were getting too invasive and lowered their heads to the ground, slowly snaking their necks back and forth in their typical goose warning! Thankfully, the woman was wise enough to figure out this was not a *greeting* maneuver and waited until the geese were a safe distance away!
The day was rather hot, with the temps climbing into the 80’s. I don’t do well in such conditions, and burn to a crisp if not careful. We decided to take refuge in a restaurant also located within the confines of the park. We *gulped* and went inside, suspicious that the prices were going to be quite steep!

The waitress came over and took our drink orders…I ordered a coke. Mark grimaced and asked if I knew the price of that coke was $3.29! Oops! We were able to find some reasonably priced items from the menu. I had a small bowl of French Onion Soup, and Mark ordered a Nacho plate at the suggestion of the waitress. When his meal arrived, we couldn’t believe the size! The plate was completely buried under chips, meat, beans, and all the goodies a Nacho plate entails!

More interesting than the food was the decor of the restaurant. It was called “Beaver Brothers Restaurant”, and, of course, the entire place was decorated with all things beaver. We were greeted by signs like, “Busy Beavers working here” and “The last one out of the dam blows out the lights”!

There were little beavers (looked like they were made from old-fashioned plaster instead of the more “modern” resin!) everywhere, hanging from the rafters! It really was quite quaint, and little kids would truly enjoy the surroundings. On one of the place mats, I read there were actually 68 beavers throughout the dining room!
We lingered on as long as possible, enjoying the air-conditioned environ. It was certainly a big bonus to be able to take refuge from that spiking heat outside! Mark rarely carries his wallet, so I always pay the bill. When the waitress brought the bill, I reached for my purse. Oops! I didn’t BRING my purse! I had opted to carry my (heavy) camera bag as opposed to my (heavy) purse.
Our bill came to $13.37. As I dug through my camera bag, I was able to dig out $13.12. We explained to the waitress that we would go to the truck and bring back the 25 cents, as well as a tip. She was so gracious, telling us to forget it! Needless to say, I hoofed it to the truck and got the money. I was so embarrassed!
At dinner, we drove down the road, along with the kids’ friend and his family, to a little pizza/sub restaurant. This proved to also be an enjoyable venture, as the temperature was cooling down rapidly. As soon as the sun was over the horizon, the temperature dropped off to a more reasonable state! We lingered, chatting and enjoying good company, until the kids alerted us they “needed” to get back to the park for a few more rides! And, after that, it was off to the laser show. There was a new show this year, and of course, the loud music and light show is a good way to end the day!
Yesterday, we shuffled off to Buffalo (only a few miles from the campground) and spent the day shopping for some things we needed and just looking around some.
Today is Mark’s day! He will decide how we spend the day, and I know we will have fun!