Canandaigua Coots and More!

Late this afternoon, Mark and I decided to use a gift card my parents had given us to pick up dinner at Applebee’s in Canandaigua.  (thanks Mom and Dad!)  Mark had spent some time this afternoon trying to fix a broken chair and I still am feeling tired from this bug.  My head isn’t stuffed up anymore, thankfully, but I just am feeling “drained”.

I figured the quickest way to pick up the meals and get them home in a timely fashion was for me to go alone.  The kids were happy to sit and watch some TV with Mark,  so off I went.  I left the house a few minutes early, so I slung my Nikon camera bag over my back and headed off.

I got this idea that perhaps if I took the lake road, I could see if those Coots were still hanging around.  I drove a good ways up the lake when I caught sight of a good many Canada Geese flying overhead. They were striking the way the sun was shining on their bodies.

It was shortly thereafter I saw them! Yes, the Coots! They were all swimming together like a big blob, all facing to the left!

I think they were nearly in the same place I spotted them on Thursday.  Even though I brought the better camera,  the sun was getting very low in the sky, and it was hard to get any good photos.  I really did try, though!

I got back in the Explorer and drove on to Applebee’s.  As I was sitting at the traffic light, I couldn’t help but notice the hundreds upon hundreds of Canada Geese heading towards the lake.  String after string of them came, filling the sky with all sorts of honking sounds….

After picking up dinner,  I just had to pull over t the WalMart parking lot, as, yes, it was just another nice Canandaigua sunset!

Heading a bit west, where the sun was still present, I got another view of the pretty sunset, complete with geese!

I hurried home with the food and it sure was good!  It is particularly nice to not have to cook when one is not feeling so chipper!

Another Day, Another Inspection

Today was certainly not the most exciting of days.  In fact, it was rather like a Monday!

Last night, Michelle settled down for the night, but complained that her head was so stuffed up, she could hardly breathe.  Feeling sorry for her, I  started up a vaporizer.  I had secretly been intending to to that anyway, as I felt as though someone was holding my head underwater!  I kept yawning and gasping for air, as my nose felt as though it was jammed full.  No amount of nose-blowing was going to clear out my head, for sure. 

Michelle went and got the vaporizer while I went to my supplies and got enough Eucalyptus essential oil to fill the little resevoir in the vaporizer.  We plugged the unit in in my bedroom and within minutes, the familiar slight hissing noise let us know that relief was on the way.   Soon thereafter,  both Michelle and I found relief as the essential oil filled the room.  I was unable to smell anything last night, but this morning, with my head feeling so relieved and my nose unplugged, I could smell the Eucalyptus and it felt so soothing.

Mark had therapy this afternoon and the kids and I went along for the ride.   I knew there were still many things we needed as far as shopping, but I just haven’t felt up to doing the entire shebang. I guess my head is still a little out of sorts, as evey time Mark says something, or asks for something,  I ask him to repeat himself!

After therapy,  we went to WalMart and I raced against the clock, grabbing several things on the list.  We then hurried off to another appointment for New York inspection….this time on the truck.  Last year, the place we had the inspection done goofed it up and our two-year-old truck failed emmissions inspection! This year, Mark took it to the Chevy garage where there were no problems at all.

As we waited for the truck, the heavens opened and rained poured down.  The temperature was slowly retreating downwards throughout the day and we are even told we can expect some new snow this weekend.

On our way home,  Mark took the state road.  As we were getting closer to home,  there seemed to be quite a stir ahead.  As we moved along the road, there were signs up stating,  “Emergency Scene Ahead”.  WHAT, pray tell, does THAT mean? 

Flashing lights came into view and there must have been five firetrucks lined along the road.  We passed a pickup truck not too badly damaged so we weren’t quite able to discern what had happened other than the pickup’s front end was damaged.

Home never felt so wonderful!  I was so tired….I guess this bug has taken a bit of a toll on me.  I find myself resting a good deal more than usual!

I so cannot wait to feel “all better” again!

Another Photoless Day?

Well, that is how I felt and what I thought! After all, Mark had made an appointment for me to take the Explorer in for its annual inspection at three this afternoon.  Being an early morning riser, I get dismayed by appointments made any later than, say nine in the morning!  Ah well. What’s a girl to do?

I did chores and such, while trying to enjoy some of the glorious warm weather afforded us today. It was indeed glorious….breathing deeply the fresh, warm air.  Although the forecast called for rain, we saw not even a drop!  The skies were not bright or even blue all day, but there were many times when the clouds split and exposed that most appreciated warmth and light given only by that bright orb in the sky!

I left home alone this afternoon for my appointment.  Upon arriving, I awaited several minutes before the Explorer was given its exam.  As the mechanic worked, I noticed him glancing over at “the computer”.  Egads!  After scanning the vehicle ID number,  the computer is connected with an emmissions computer in the vehicle.  No cheating on this test! No way!  I watched as the computer screen flashed a message: “NYVIP communicating with vehicle”.  Good grief! When did I give my vehicle permission to cavort and communicate with any old Mac, IBM, or whatnot, anyway?

All kidding aside, the Explorer passed inspection and I watched as the mechanic scraped last year’s sticker off in nearly one fell swoop!  At home, it takes me forever to remove the nasty glue used on those stickers! I then watched in utter amazement as the mechanic then placed the new sticker on next to the NY registration sticker. Was I seeing things?

The mechanic was nearly apologetic as he neatly sealed the edges of Scotch tape on the sticker! When I sarcasticly made a comment about our new governor cutting costs, he chirped back, saying they opted for the cheapest vendor and got exactly what they paid for!  He then disclosed the batch of inspection stickers sent to them came free of glue….as in, there was NO glue on them at all.  I couldn’t help but smirk….

I am still feeling the residual symptoms of this stupid flu or cold. My head is proned to feeling very stuffy and I am downright tired.  I was grateful to get out of the house for a time, just to get a breath of fresh air.  I also needed to grab a few groceries just to tide us over for a day or two, as we were beginning to resemble Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard!

After the inspection, I went to the grocery store to do some light shopping.  Not having gotten a chance to really see exactly what we needed,  I figured I would buy a few things for dinner and for tomorrow as well.  I paid for the groceries and then decided instead of racing home, I would take my time and perhaps even take the lake road.  I hadn’t ventured that way in ages!

Disappointment welled up inside me as I looked at the ever-faithful little Panasonic camera sitting in the passenger seat.  I certainly didn’t have many chances for photos today, for certain!  I looked over lakeside and was disappointed further to see that there was ice for quite a long portion of my drive.

I pressed onward,  glancing to my left from time to time, just to see if there was anything of value to photograph.  I caught sight of a small group of Canada Geese standing at the edge of a small pool of open water.  They were so pretty, but I have photographed them so many times.  I passed on by, then decided, no, I was going to turn around. After all, I clearly saw a cute photo right there!  Since the family doesn’t understand my need to photograph all things neat/beautiful/unusual/funny/horrible/…..fill in the blanks,  I would never be given a chance to turn around and go back. Being all alone, there was no reason NOT to go back.

I am so glad I did. I love this photo. I love the reflections of the geese in the water, offered by the fading sun setting behind me. I love the way each goose seems engrossed in his or her own world, just like little kids.

Content to have made at least one capture of the day, I continued on my way.  I had bought a roast chicken for dinner. I had to linger on at the grocery store for half an hour, waiting for the chicken to be removed from the oven.  With this in mind,  I did feel a bit of an urgency to proceed on home with maybe a “little” haste.

I had gone down the road a mile or two when I saw ducks…..many, many of them, all swarmed together.  I passed by.  I certainly didn’t need anymore photos of Mallard Ducks!  As I thought for a moment, I relied on my mind’s eye.  *Those* ducks were not Mallards!  Thinking if a Sheriff’s deputy had been following me, he would pull me over for “insanity”, I carefully made a quick U-turn. 

I had to park in a house’s parking area.  There was a car parked there, and I felt so uncomfortable, as though invading someone’s privacy.  Instead of plodding out of the vehicle, I lowered the window and snapped (only one) a shot. Because of pressure and feeling nervous, I didn’t realize my camera was focussing on the branch hanging down insteead of the birds!!!

The jury is out on what these birds are! In looking briefly in a bird book, I thought perhaps they might be American Coots.  They were a dark grey color, with a black head and white bill. WHY did I leave the Nikon home???

The sun was progressing westward, and I needed to get home.  As I drove along the road,  I saw one of our neighbors. I haven’t spoken to Kate in nearly two years!  We gabbed for maybe ten minutes, then it was home again!

Well, I guess I didn’t do too badly for a photoless day, after all!

Oh, and dinner?  Terrific! Greek salad (made by Michelle), potatoes (instant, but still very good, prepared by Ben),  a loaf of very fresh Italian bread, and roast chicken!

How About a Little Snicker?

At my expense, of course!

Remember that I was feeling quite sick the other day, and truth be known, my poor head felt quite as though it might have cobwebs growing in it!  In other words, I might not have been thinking clearly, *if* at all!

I slowly made my way to the bathroom. As I walked in the hallway, I heard a distinctive “scratching” noise.  I stood and listened…it seemed as though perhaps it was coming from behind the large rolltop desk in the hallway. Knowing there is no space between the desk and the wall, it had to be coming from the kneewall area behind the desk.  Having a steep roof, we have kneewalls in the rooms upstairs, creating small storage spaces.

I stood, dumbfounded, yet nearly frozen with realization that perhaps an animal was hidden just a few feet from me!  Not knowing exactly what to do, I remained immobilized until almost supernaturally, something caused me to look upward.

There, carefreely bouncing up and down with the air current in the house was a helium-filled Valentine’s Day mylar balloon.

Yes, I was feeling pretty sick, but the noise the balloon made did indeed sound a lot like scratching! I suppose if logical reasoning had been present, I would have realized that it would be highly unlikely for any creature to enter the house unless the door had been left open, and also that the Scotties would have been hot on the trail had any creature entered their domain!

Okay, go ahead and laugh….but remember, I really was sick!

Back With a Couple of Photos

I guess it is a good thing I am feeling better since today was a semi-busy day.

Michelle’s bedroom was awash in sunlight this morning, and since Angus had wandered up there, he decided to rest on her big down comforter she had placed on the floor while making her bed….

I like to think of our home as being a sanctuary…a refuge where one can find peace and comfort.  This morning a “new” bird appeared at the feeder.  She is a little Downy Woodpecker. (these are the smallest woodpeckers in the US)

And speaking of being a sanctuary….take a look who came by at noon!

This doe was accompanied by three young deer.  They were a good deal smaller than she, so they must have been born last year.  The doe was incredible! I opened the window and leaned out a bit with the camera.  She stood and watched as I snapped several photos while talking to her.

Those are sunflower husks on her nose.  She was standing below the birdfeeder, looking for sunflower seeds.

Yup, I guess our accommodations include all sorts of wildlife, as well as humans!

Under the Weather

Yes, that is where I have been the past couple of days.  Monday is a day I would rather forget about, as by the early evening,  I developed the worst case of “shakes” ever!  As I was lying in bed, I got so chilled, I began to shake.  The shaking grew more and more intense, to the point that I had cramps in my back and I was certain my bones were all going to break!  I managed to get myself into the bathroom,  where I filled the tub with hot water….as soon as I sat in the tub, the shaking disappeared.  I then suffered through bouts of being overheated, then chilled….ugh! (As an aside, the family was downstairs, watching TV. They never even knew this happened!!!)

Yesterday I felt well enough to wander downstairs, where I was greeted by what looked like “waves of laundry”.  The kids had sorted the laundry and there was so much to do!  They were going to do it, but I insisted I would *try*.  I finished putting the last load away at nine last night!  Not too bad after being sick!

While discussing what we would have for dinner last night, I voted for pizza.  I was too tired/miserable to prepare a meal.  Mark and the kids said that would be good with a salad, so Michelle made a great salad. I drove to the store.  As I was about to turn in, two firetrucks raced past me, and turned onto a side road.  I went into the store and as I waited for the girl to wait on me, three more trucks flew down the hill from another volunteer department.  I looked for any news about a fire, but haven’t seen anything.  It was certainly alarming!

The temperature here this morning was about 8 degrees (that would be -12, Celsius) and it is supposed to rise to about 41 degrees. (5 degrees, Celsius)  Needless to say, I will certainly try to spend some time out in the bright sunshine and fresh air today!  When I took the Scotties out this morning, even though the air was cold, it felt so refreshingly good!

The good news is that I was able to read a couple of books to try to divert my attention from the agony overwhelming me! I also tried to take a few bird photos from bedside, as I was too weak to stand on Monday. The results were pathetic!

Hopefully, I will be able to get a few photos today. The skies are intense blue and the sun is pouring down.

My Honorable Adversary

AKA “that dirty bird!”

I was looking out the French doors early this afternoon when I spotted IT!  Yes, if you look very carefully, you can see a little bright red spot right about dead center in the photo below.

That is the head of the Pileated Woodpecker.  This is a very large woodpecker with a distinct pecking sound that rivals a jackhammer!  He was up in the woods behind the house,  probably about 200 feet away.

I had called Michelle to grab my Nikon camera so I could try to get a shot of the bird, but these birds are so shy, they fly as soon as they sense a human anywhere near them!  I suppose if they lived in a more populous area, they wouldn’t be quite so coy, but here in the Bristolwood, I have never been able to capture one with the camera.

True to form, just as soon as I stepped my foot outside the door, the bugger heard…saw…whatever, and decided to take flight!  The good news is I was foreward-thinking enough to try to capture the bird as it flew overhead! (I was always HORRIBLE at skeet shooting)

So, here are two (very humble) attempts to catch the stinker above my head…..

These photos were taken with my long lens, handheld. Of course, the sky was a putrid shade of grey, causing the bird to appear a dismal grey color as well.  If only the sun would have shone upon its head to show that glorious bright red color.  Ah well….

We WILL meet again, bird! Until then………

“The Cure”

For my dreadful headache!

At about five o’clock yesterday afternoon, I began to feel hungry.  Rightfully so, as I had not eaten all day, save a sliver of Michelle’s terrific cake.  At the same time, I also decided enough was enough with the lingering headache, so I was going to take some Ibuprophen. 

Ben has culinary skills that rival those of top chefs, I am so convinced! He has come up with the perfect omelette of spinach and feta cheese that would make any restaurant proud to serve!  I ate my omelette, along with a slice of whole wheat toast….it was so fantastic!

The Buffalo Sabres played last night against the New York Strangers  Rangers, and Buffalo was doing a terrific job! We were winning, when in the third period, one of their finest players slewfooted our goalie.  Our goalie, Ryan Miller,  has been showing up everywhere in ads and such, as he is such a terrific player.  There was no reason for this player to have taken Ryan out of the game. (slewfooting is when a player comes from the rear and rams his knee into the knee of the player in front, taking him down and possibly causing some serious damage)  Scott Gomez said he couldn’t stop in time, but everyone who has viewed the replays believes it was an intentional move on Gomez’s part.  Playoffs are important and Buffalo is struggling to move up in the standings, hoping to make it to the playoffs.  I was too tired to watch the game last night, but listened via radio.  When Mark showed me the play later, I felt sick to my stomach….

I went to bed feeling somewhat better, but still not “well”.  This morning, though, ahhhhh! What relief to have that headache gone!

Some Days are Better than Others…

Last night, as soon as the kids’ company left,  I raced upstairs to lie down.  I could feel a tightening between my shoulders and a tension headache coming on.  Rather than taking medicine, I thought I would try to sleep.

When I awakened this morning, the headache was still there.  It has remained all day and it is annoying!

This morning, while I was talking to Michelle in her room, Mr. Nosy, aka “Murphy”,  came wandering in to see what we were doing.  I snapped a quick shot, and I really like this photo….

I had mentioned Michelle made Jacob a checkerboard cake.  I forgot to show a picture of the inside! It turned out quite nice, although the batter didn’t stay put!

I am rarely incapacitated by a headache, but I spent the entire day lying about today.  I feel like such a bum! I certainly hope tomorrow brings some energy and strength!