Water, Water Everywhere!

This afternoon, after finishing her schoolwork,  Michelle asked if we might go to Canandaigua to exchange some clothes we bought the other day. I had wanted to go there myself, so I agreed.

The sky was cloudy and the day was chilly….not only cool, but somewhat windy here. I decided to take the “slow road”, AKA the lake road! As we worked our way up the lake towards Canandaigua, the sun began to shine and the temperature rose from 49 degrees to 57 degrees.

With the sun poking through, and the cool temperature, conditions were fabulous for photography. As we passed the Canandaigua Yacht Club, I told Michelle I had always wanted to take some pictures there. So, I pulled off the side of the road and began working!

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Since it was getting close to dinner time, Michelle and I grabbed a snack at Taco Bell. And, since Mr. Murphy was with us, he got a drink of water as well! Doncha just love the way those big ole eyebrows drape over the side of the cup?

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Murphy…..man, come on up for air!

Michelle and I shopped at three different stores, while little Murphy relaxed (and slept) in the truck. He is an amazing little companion in vehicles….very patient and relaxed!

Mark called in an order for a pizza when we finished shopping, so with a few spare minutes before picking up the pizza, Michelle and I drove on out the city pier and took just a few quick pictures….

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If the photo below is expanded, you can see the gulls sitting on the breakwall.

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It really is incredible how the lake changes from season to season.  This afternoon, after talking to Mark about it, I think we are going to get some kind of little watercraft that we can launch from Woodville so the kids can have some fun and get some exercise! (perhaps a canoe or inflatable dingy….hmmmm…better start looking for a waterproof cover for the camera as well!

Please Open!

If you never take the time to click on photos to expand them, please do today! I was so excited about these two pictures, although they could be much better….

The first is one I took early this morning. Since the kids were all sleeping, I grabbed my camera and went down by the road, where all the Indigo Buntings seem to hang out. I heard one a little farther down the road, so I traipsed off towards the singing…

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And, late this afternoon, I heard a bunting outside the bedroom window. I am always game to catch a better picture of the Indigo Bunting, but as I looked, I realized I wasn’t looking at an Indigo Bunting at all! This is Indigo’s cousin…..this bird is called Lazuli Bunting.

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I first spotted a Lazuli Bunting, named for the stone “Lapis Lazuli”, a couple of years ago as I walked along down by the road.  I had mistakenly thought it was an Eastern Bluebird, but only recently did I discover that the two buntings, both brightly blue-colored,  are often found living near one another.

As you can see, the discerning factor between the bunting “cousins” is Lazuli’s bright red breast. Okay, enough birdie excitement…I will now work on an entry for the parade we saw today!

A Day of Solemn Remembrance and Also Some Fun

This morning, Mark wanted to make a visit to the cemetery where his dad was laid to rest. My father-in-law used to talk this place up like crazy….he would tell us it was like being in a huge park!

The first business of the day was placing a flower arrangement at the gravestone. I get the honors of doing this every year.

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With my camera in hand, I decided to wander around this cemetery just a little, as I never really looked around before. Near my father-in-law’s grave is the Korean War Memorial. (He was a Korean War veteran.)

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Those big boulders have some nice etchings in them. Nearby is a memorial to servicemen and women, as well as monuments remembering firefighters and emergency people, as well as law enforcement people.

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I continued my little stroll over towards this pretty gazebo.

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And the path led to this water feature.

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There are lot markers near this area that are in what seem like tiny areas. My best guess is that perhaps this area is where folks who were cremated have their ashes buried….The marker below (apparently the two lucky ducks are still here!) made me chuckle! Who would have thought one would find some humor at the cemetery?

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As I walked back, I wondered about the statue I spotted in the distance. This cemetery only allows flat markers….no statuary here….but, this statue was really a marker for deceased infants. It was quite hard to see all the markers, realizing many of these little ones only lived a very short time.

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Ben invited a couple of friends to spend the night tonight, so we picked them up on the way home.  A little later, I drove them over to the park to work off some of that super youthful energy!

How is this for a  gorgeous view?

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There were so many wild Honeysuckle bushes growing all over throughout the woods. And, oh, were they fragrant!

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One of Ben’s friends is a shutterbug, so both he and I grabbed our cameras when we saw this beautiful Trillium. I never saw so many plants all clustered together….and so BIG! My plants look tiny, comparatively!

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Yeah, this one needs no explanation, as we all know the “nut doesn’t fall far from the tree”…Or, is that, “apple”?

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If you expand this last photo, you can see a big, juicy Bumblebee working away on the pretty apple blossoms.

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As you can see by the photos, we are enjoying our three-day-weekend, weather-wise. Tomorrow, the kids are going to a parade for Memorial Day.  Hopefully, we will be getting some sleep between now and then!

Shopping and Dinner on the Fly!

My entry on my blog was somewhat shameful yesterday. I think anyone could sense the depth of sarcasm and misery I was experiencing. And, that is after I “checked” myself, trying *not* to be sarcastic or miserable!

Life has been kind of slowly handing me a bit much these days….Mark has a wound that has yet to completely heal, even after about 5 weeks. For some unknown (to me!) reason, I have been going to bed the past several days with heartburn. Then, the news of a little girl being killed in such a tragic way…..well….let’s just say that yesterday is best left in the past.

Today, I got up and went out fairly early to mow the lawn. It takes a good hour, but now that Miss M. has requested I mow a “little extra” for when she wants to have a bonfire with her friends,  the time has increased by about another half an hour. So, I mowed around the house today, and tomorrow will be the swingset area. After I finished mowing, I trimmed bushes in the perennial garden and I think I must have removed about half of the wild Bleeding Heart! I can’t believe the thing has already spread out of control and it isn’t even the end of May!

I emptied the pool cover of all the rainwater and “green grunge” from the trees. The kids will be anxious to get the pool in operation soon, and that cover had to be cleaned off beforehand.

I helped Mark for awhile, then packed a couple of orders. Then, at about 4, Miss M. and I were off to go shopping. Although the day wasn’t nearly as warm as last month’s really unusual temperatures,  one could feel it warming throughout the day. I must admit, after having to make a small fire in the woodstove the past couple of days, the warmer temperature did feel welcome!

As we set out, the skies were very blue with puffy white clouds….

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Since we all know it is unwise to shop for groceries when feeling hungry, I had Miss M. call Applebe’s Carside To Go.  Mark and the kids had planned on me picking up pizza on the way home when we were finished shopping.  Since heartburn and I have been a little too “friendly”, I told Mark I was not going to eat anything Italian, Mexican, or otherwise spicy or tomato-y! 

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I ordered Smothered Chicken, which is a chicken breast with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese on top. This came with Applebee’s great mashed potatoes and some veggies.  I was so hungry, I ate my entire meal without photographing it! (gasp!)

One of the most nonsensical things a person might do is shop on Friday evening when it is a holiday weekend! It takes about 1/2 an hour to get to Canandaigua. So, the trip is about 1 hour. We didn’t arrive home until about 8:45. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the time….BUT, I know I stood in line at the deli for over 1/2 an hour, and I waited in lines to checkout for at least another 45 minutes.  If I add all the time I spent waiting, I guess it makes sense we were gone nearly 5 hours. And, that was with no “unnecessary” stops to take photos!

Since we live amongst the hills and trees, sunsets are not seen here! So of course, I had to stop….

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Well, no heartburn! That is a happy beginning for me! Mark told me I will have to eat Smothered Chicken every night until my stomach behaves normally once again! Not sure I could do that much Applebee’s, but my, what a thought!

The Birds are Bright!

Today has been a somewhat introspective, if not sullen day for me.  Besides hearing bad news, the weather has been in a very dismal pattern that is far from “cheerful”!

This afternoon, I looked out my (chronically) dirty window to see the Goldfinches happily feeding at the Niger “sock”.  I can’t believe the intensity of the male’s “gold”. He would be more appropriately called Rocking Intense Yellow! Finch if I had to give him a moniker!

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As I was working in the living room later this afternoon, I heard the very distinct chirp of a Cardinal.  I decided I would take my camera on the front porch with me, and if the bugger flew off, so be it!

I edged my way over to look at the side of the house. What I saw was (I think?) an immature male feeding on sunflower seeds that had fallen to the ground! He really gave me and the Nikon the “once over”……

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Then turned so I could see his full handsome physique. Isn’t he pretty? I am thinking this is a male, as the bird was small in stature for a cardinal, and its feathers look a bit messy.

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So, I am going to sign off and just relax for a little bit. (hmmm….maybe not….I just remembered a load of clothes in the washing machine.)

A Sad Day in Christian Music

This morning, I was so saddened to hear of the death of one of Steven Curtis Chapman’s little adopted Chinese daughters. The whole thing was a terrible, terrible tragic accident and the family needs much prayer, I am sure.

Rather than hash out the story here, I will provide this link regarding the story.

Chapman recently released a wonderful song entitled Cinderella which he says was inspired by his adopted daughters. It is a beautiful song that touches the heart of any father who loves his “special girl(s)”. It can be found on You Tube,  if you care to take a look. Just go there and type in “Steven Curtis Chapman”.

Mark always tells me that in this world, there is no end to sad stories.  I do believe he is correct….

Chocoholics, Here’s to You!

Since the weather refuses to cooperate and become a bit warmer….sunnier…whatever…..

I have decided that with the United States holiday called Memorial Day coming up on Monday, I would share a recipe. “THE” recipe, from Land O Lakes. If, perchance, you are going on a picnic, (the weather this weekend looks like we will be hopping from November chills to July }}}heat{{{!) or, if you would love to razzle-be-dazzle a chocolate lover-in-your-life, this recipe is for you! Mark says it seriously is “over the edge”!

Fudgy Candy Topped Brownies

  • 3/4 cup margarine (I only buy butter, so butter it is at our house!)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1- 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I never, ever add salt, but it is in the recipe)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped peanut butter cups

Heat oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit. Place margarine and sugar into large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH until mixture just starts to boil; stir until well-mixed. Add 1 cup of the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Stir in remaining chocolate chips.

Pour batter into ungreased 8″ square baking pan. (I use a round 8″ cake pan since I have no square pan!) Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs. Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups evenly on hot brownies. Cool completely before cutting.

***Now, since I don’t often happen to have peanut butter cups sitting around the house, I made these yesterday and decided to “improvise” with some chocolate/peanut butter frosting. I melted about 1 tablespoon butter, along with 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. (cocoa powder would also work in place of the chips) I then beat this by hand, mixing in enough confectioner’s sugar to make a stiff frosting. I then added 1 teaspoon vanilla and thinned it a bit more with some milk. To say that this frosting was just as good as the candy is by no means an understatement. I guess perhaps the candy would look a bit more impressive for a special gift.

So, there you have it~

Now, for those of us who take our camera everywhere….

I walked down to the mailbox shortly after noon. As I grabbed the Nikon, I thought to myself, you had better switch out lenses…..put on the long lens.  Feeling in a hurry (will I EVER slow down???) I just left the lens on that was already there.

I got all the way down to the mailbox when I heard an Indigo Bunting singing just as sweetly as could be. It was across the street, in a bush. I whistled as I walked over with the camera poised. The little bird looked so tiny, and it just sat there, singing beautifully! I snapped several photos. And, not ONE of them is any good. DRAT!

Here is my beautiful Fuchsia, instead!

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