A Lesson From the Mighty Acorn

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As I was photographing the ice formations along the water courses on our property the other day, Ben called my attention to several acorns that had fallen into the ditches. It seems they took root there.

As I gazed down at these little storehouses of food that become one of the mightiest of trees, I was inspired by their steadfastness. This little acorn endured a flood of a tremendous amount of water coursing over it….and yet, it remained firmly planted. There was no wavering, no becoming uprooted, and no moving along further downstream.  Oh, to be like that little acorn!

Although I am reluctant to make resolutions at this time of the year as I cannot stand going back on my word, I think I shall remember that little acorn. And when the storms of life come, (and we all know they shall) I do believe I will resolve to endure just like that tiny little acorn!

The New Toys!

For the past two years, Mark and I have pondered, mulled, and just outright dreamed about buying another ATV. (or two)

Because of disability, we are able to gain access to state lands that others can enjoy by foot. There are special areas designated for disabled people, and they can ride an ATV and be accompanied by a companion on another ATV. Now we will be able to ride on these trails and Mark and I are both excited about this!

Yesterday afternoon, we went here….

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We picked up this new blue Honda Rancher for me!

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And while we were at it, we got a pretty good deal for picking up two ATV’s. The small red one is in the hopes that the kids will catch the “fever” as well. Michelle is planning to attend training courses with me on how to ride, so I think she is pretty excited, too!

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Late this afternoon, Mark and I drove up onto the back of our property. For the first time since we have lived here (15 years) I was able to see the lights of the ski mountain back there. I never ventured there previously because the terrain is kind of steep and there are ruts that are easy to trip on if one cannot see them!

I am so very excited!

Photo Hunters: Messy

When I saw this week’s theme, I knew exactly what is the messiest job we do every year! Cuttting and splitting firewood makes a terrible mess, but I love the warmth from our woodstove *so* much!

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This photo “only” shows the mess by the woodsplitter. When we are done, there are inches of bark and wood splinters all over the floor. It takes shovels to clean up afterward!

Ice Sculpture of the Natural Kind

Egads…I have been trying to post this entry for hours and hours! But, the call of family has taken precedence and my photos have remained “parked” all day!

This morning, I rushed outside with my camera; as we were leaving for the mall yesterday, I spotted some ice formations in the stream. I love taking pictures of ice. Okay, you realize I am exceedingly fond of winter and snow, and now ice, as well. (how could we enjoy hockey without ice?)

When I took the Scottie boys outside this morning, it was drizzling rain and even though the temperature was above freezing, the chill felt as though it was biting at me.  I could hardly wait for daybreak, as I was afraid the warmer temperature would ruin the little sculptures I had spotted in the drainage ditch.

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The photo below is my favorite! Although I don’t remember seeing ice in Japanese pictures, there is something that reminds me of perhaps a Japanese painting? Maybe it is the ripples in the water and the ice formations that look like tiny inverted parasols….

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Ben came outside to see what I was doing. When I told him about the cool ice formations in the ditches and stream bed, he informed me I had to follow him down to the “waterfall”. When the kids were younger, they used to play in the stream all the time. They reshaped it, built dams in it, and just had some great times playing in it.

I followed Ben down to the front of our property to the waterfall…Ben was right. There were some really spectacular formations hidden along the water’s course.

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There was a big matt of oak leaves that had been encrusted in a thick coating of ice.

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The photo below is the waterfall, “proper”. The kids changed the water’s pathway, forming what they believed to be a more stunning “drop”. It really is quite pretty! Please take note of that large flat rock sitting at the very top of the waterfall….as you can see, it is angled downward rather steeply…..

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Ben hopped down below into the drainage ditch along the side of the road. It is quite deep and getting down there proved to be just a little too challenging for me. I was still attired in my new Scottie pajamas and blue Crocs.  Heaven forbid I would slip and fall and break an ankle or some such thing. If anyone saw me dressed in such a manner, taking photos, they just might take me to new accommodations, including padded walls!  After all, not everyone appreciates the need to move on the opportuntity to take photos on the spur of a moment!

Instead of joining Ben, I very carefully handed him my camera and he took some very nice shots!

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I suddenly got this really terrific idea. As I explained, Ben looked at me as though I really had lost all of my marbles! I took off my winter coat and threw it over that rock that was teetering on the edge of the waterfall…..

“Ben, take a picture of my feet dangling over the edge of the waterfall!”

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Yup, I was sitting on that rock. I think Ben kept snapping pictures, thinking that in the event his mom went “over the edge”, he would have it on film!  So, here I am below, hanging onto a sapling and making my way up from my precarious perch!

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Living like a kid is so much fun. But living in the Bristolwood is just so very delightful!

A Trip to the Mall

Yesterday morning, I went outside with camera in hand and took some photos of the clouds in the sky. They were so beautiful and the sky was so blue! Ever since I was a little child, I have looked up into the sky and longed for “sky blue” eyes!

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We did our chores for the day in the morning and then decided to take the kids to the mall. We have a few items that need to be returned from Christmas, but we will wait until next week, as everyone else is returning their items now! Next week, most folks will be back at work and things will have quieted down a good deal.

On our way to the mall, Mark and the kids stopped by a Chinese restaurant for take-out.  As much as I love Chinese food, there are times when the thought of it just doesn’t sound very good. I always get something with chicken and lots of veggies…and always *always* hot!

Mark figured since I didn’t want the Chinese, maybe I would want to go into the mall to eat. I was happy to do this, as I had my camera with me and maybe there would be something interesting to snap while I was eating!

Perhaps if I had a more compact camera instead of my D-SLR, I *could* have captured what I considered to be one of the strangest scenes I have seen in a very long time. There were several (young) teens seated at a table directly in front of me.  One of the boys was holding a baby bottle in his hand. I watched in total disbelief as he put the bottle to his lips and began sucking!

The kids were so preoccupied with one another, but none acted as though there was anything “unusual” about their friend with his rather strange means of partaking…..As I watched (I certainly hope my mouth wasn’t gaping ) I did notice that he was also carrying around a half gallon jug of milk. Most unusual.

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As I was finishing my meal, the kids came in to do a little shopping. I had thought I might poke around a little, but decided to go out with Mark instead. As I was walking back to the truck,  there was a group of five or six teenagers in front of me.  They were more of a “blockade” and I grew more than a little annoyed they were taking up the entire sidewalk  so I couldn’t pass them.

I observed that there were mostly boys, with one girl. I also noticed that it seemed very strange that one of the boys was wearing Wellingtons. Not the typical footwear of teens, and certainly not when a young man might be seeing some “hot chicks” at the mall! But, I thought to myself, not all boys are thinking along those lines.

Just as I was pondering this, someone called out in a very loud voice to the group. Not wanting to appear nosy, I continued walking on. I thought perhaps one of their friends was hailing them from behind. 

After walking a great deal of distance away from the kids, I turned around to see that they had been swarmed by what looked like five sherriff deputies and mall security people. I was too far away to see whether the Wellingtons were off or on, but the young man had his elbows up in the air, both hands behind his head. Another officer was pulling stuff from down near the ground….most likely out of the Wellingtons.  By this time, there were people everywhere, stopped and looking. Feeling very sad for the youngster, and somewhat embarrassed for him, I walked off to the truck.

In this day and age when kids have so much and the ability to obtain goods really isn’t beyond the grasp of most kids, I cannot understand the need to shoplift.  These kids didn’t appear to look poor or unkempt.  Certainly he didn’t need to steal…..As I said, I felt so sad and embarrassed…..Mark suggested perhaps shoplifting was more of a “sport” than a “need” for this kid….

As we sat in the truck, awaiting the kids to return, I saw the most spectacular sky! The sun was actually breaking through the clouds and looked as though it was being refracted upwards!

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Yes, those are “mountains” of snow from the parking lot! 

I think I have recovered from my unique excursion.  Thank you, Lord, for somewhat “normal” children!!!

Happy Boxing Day!

To all of my British and British Commonwealth friends! I did have to take a look at Wikipedia to see what Boxing Day *really* is about, as we Americans have heard some rather strange explanations!

We are off to a frosty start here in the Bristolwood. My Explorer is encrusted in a “shell” of ice. It isn’t very thick, but the car is sparkling like diamonds in the driveway! The sky is unusually bright….the weatherman is promising temperatures reaching into the 40’s,(fahrenheit) and bright sunshine! We haven’t seen a whole lot of sun lately, so we will be spending some time outside today!

And, One More Christmas Eve Post

Late this afternoon, we drove up to Canandaigua so I could pick up a few items at Wegman’s. Nothing earth-shattering….just things to make a salad and a few other little things.

After going to Wegman’s, I told Mark I really wanted to go to Rossi’s. Rossi Music is a small music store owned by a wonderful man who really does Christmas *BIG* every year! As we drove up, I was utterly amazed by the displays on the premises!

When I was a little girl, I remember we would all get bundled in our winter garb and go for a ride to look at the Christmas lights. We would drive through neighborhoods and to houses that had a past history of bright displays. This was such a highlight of the Christmas season!

And now, I present some of the Rossi Music Christmas display! (probably best viewed enlarged)

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Ah, the Night Before Christmas!

As I was reading through my favorite blogs today, I especially liked the entry at Ayrshire + Photographs where a lovely photograph highlighted an ornament on the Christmas tree. I got to thinking that yesterday I was looking at our tree and I smiled as I looked at the ornaments as a good many were handmade…..by me!

Many years, I came across a design or pattern for an ornament and I would go great guns, working to make up enough of the ornaments to fill a Christmas tree! I would work diligently, but by the time Christmas came around, I would give away the bulk of my efforts, realizing many people treasured handmade ornaments. I would think perhaps I would then work through the new year, making more ornaments. However, something else would catch my fancy and I was off and running in new directions!

One year when Mark and I hadn’t been married very long, I decided to make crocheted angels! I think I made about 30 of these angels but only about 8 of them remained here!

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The little red heart ornament next to the angel was one Michelle designed and crafted for us several years ago. She had no pattern, but devised this on her own. Rather cute, isn’t it? She probably took her cues from the ornaments below.

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My paternal grandparents came to the US in 1907 from the Ukraine. Needless to say, the love of bright color was passed through the genes! I embroidered so many of these ornaments. When I was young, I used to glean sewing pattern books. I loved crafts and sewing! I found these patterns to embroider in a Vogue catalogue in the 1970’s.  I must have made close to 50 of these ornaments.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I joined an ornament swap with several of my soap-making friends from all over the US.  Everyone knew I loved Scotties, so I put my brain into overdrive to create a design that was purely my own. I used cotton linters and a cookie stamp to make my little paper Scotties featured in the center.  I painted the Scottie, colored each little bow about the neck, then sewed two laces around the outside. I then glued a green circle to each back with a red ribbon to hang the ornament.

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And, lastly, I crocheted a lot of snowflakes, but found them a bit boring. Since they had a Victorian feel to them, I glued on little gold-colored beads, along with ribbons and ribbon flowers.

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We do have several bright red glass balls on the tree as well.  I find something almost “comforting” about hanging my handmade creations on the tree every year.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that each represents me!

 Of course, there are the hundreds of tiny Scottie ornaments I made from polymer clay and placed on top of small bells. I showed them on this blog before, so I shan’t show them again so as not to bore my dear readers to tears!

And so, to all, a Good Night!