I Ain’t no Popeye!

No way. Popeye,  I am not.

Today, after feeding the Scotties and taking them outside,  I realized I had many more muscles in my body than I knew! AND, every single one of them was ACHING!!!!

Oh my goodness! I worked a little around the house this morning, then headed upstairs to soak for a bit in the tub.  I got out and got dressed, then thought perhaps I would lie down a few minutes.  I fell sound asleep!  I never sleep during the day!!!

I bought a Schwinn recumbent bike for exercise a couple weeks ago. It is set up in the living room and I have been faithful to hop on every day.  Well, IF I could have used my LEGS to cut that stump, I would have been fine! However,  I now have little aches and pains in my stomach, shoulders, arms, and back!  My legs….they feel terrific!

I told Mark there was no way I was going to be able to work that saw today.  He agreed!  He knows that I have always been a believer of “working through the pain”, but this goes beyond pain!  We went for a little ride this afternoon, and I thought I was going to die from the aching in my body.  Oh, and forget about coughing!

Well,  I did find that although that Nikon camera is a bit heavy,  I could manage to take a few photos today!

Tomorrow is another day! Hopefully, a little less pain-filled!!!

Can Someone Explain?

This morning, Mr. Murphy thought I should arise before his “normal” 6 am wakeup.  It was okay, as I had gone to bed shortly after 10 last night.  I am not ashamed to say that the stump I cut yesterday really did a number on me!  My bones were dog-tired and even a bit achy!

I padded down the stairs and fed the boys….as they ate, I realized I had a terrible headache.  I took one Ibuprophen and then looked out to see what the temperature was outside.  Egads, the thermometer was hovering directly at the freezing (32 degrees) mark!  Hmmmm…..that means the ramp out back would certainly be frost-covered.

Before the Scotties finished eating, I grabbed a winter jacket and pair of snow boots from the closet.

It was as we walked outside that I discovered the most “curious” thing…..

The left side (west) of the hot tub cover had a coating of frost on it, while the right side had only water from rain…Huh?

As the Scotties hurried down the ramp, I decided to just slide down the thing, Gumby-style!  I really dislike using that ramp when there is a risk of snow/frost/anything slippery!,  but I had to use it.

You see, yesterday, while I was busy with that tree, Mark had our sweet little Michelle under the stairs, removing all the bolts and screws because the treads were in need of repair. The two of them decided they needed to clean up and replace many parts……

That “first step” would be a little aggressive for (short) me and two Scotties!

So, as the Scotties and I walked around outside, I was “testing everything….the truck and Explorer were only wet, no frost.  This is definitely one of those very strange “science” events that totally throws my mind into a tizzy!!!

Stumped!

Last year, I went on a rampage, cutting down several trees in our front yard….they were sick or diseased and really did need to be taken down. I had mixed emotions taking those trees down, knowing it was the right thing to do, but also knowing that part of our shade canopy would be missing in the summer and would take some time to fill back in again.

When I cut the trees down, Mark told me to leave about three feet of stump so we could have an excavator come and “pluck” them from the ground.  Thus, we were left with this….

and this over further towards the west.

This was a source of contention, although I never voiced my opinion!  The thought of an excavator coming into the yard and tearing up everything in its way just really rattled my cage.  Raking and shaping soil is NOT something I enjoy doing.  Not at all!

Apparently Mark decided that perhaps an excavator might be a little too invasive, so he began “greasing the skids”  a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, he told me he was pretty sure the kids and I could do the stump removal ourselves. 

As I took the photos of the stumps this morning,  I was elated to see tiny little leaves beginning to sprout on the maple trees!

I came in the house and told Mark I was ready to begin the tedious task of stump removal.  WHAT was I thinking?

Mark said before working, everyone needed a good breakfast.  So, I made a good breakfast!

My family loves homefries.  I have tried to make them for years, but they never seemed great.  Well, after all those trial and errors, I have found a sure-fire way that rivals the restaurant homefries!  Here’s what I do.

First,  I bake several potatoes. (the last batch was 18 potatoes, to be exact!)  After they have cooled, I store them in the fridge so they are ready at any given time.  Next,  I take out a few potatoes and cut them into small cubes…about 1/2 inch square.  I place them in a large bowl and drizzle just a little olive oil over them, then add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.  I toss them in the oil and spices until they are thoroughly coated.  I then spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes, turning them midway.

Ben and Mark thought this was a good breakfast….scrambled eggs, toast, and homefries!

Michelle and I opted for chicken salad sandwiches on whole wheat bread! ( I am so not a fan of breakfast food)

While they ate,  I went outside and took a couple of photos. Just look at my side garden! The tulips are blooming and the Bleeding Heart is as well!

Excuse the ugly landscape paper showing through. Mark has been “theatening” to raise the grade between the house and garage for a couple of years now.  Somehow, I think this might be the year, so I am not about to mulch around my plants, only to have them dug up in a couple of months!

Oh, and speaking of digging things up….Ben had dug a little around those first two tree stumps out front.  He did such a great job, my work with the saw was going to be easy! (or not…)

I finally began cutting at about 10 this morning.  I had to cut a section off the top, then cut as low as possible without running the bar and chain into the dirt and stones.  That sounds easy enough, but trust me, it is hard.  I wound up muscling the saw, trying to get a good and safe cut.

As I worked, the temperature began to rise once again. The sun came out and I worked for short spurts, taking breaks in between.  I was able to get the stump cut fairly low.

After cutting, Mark had me carefully cut a “checkerboard” pattern in the top of the remaining stump.

Ben then used a maul, hammer, and hatchet to break off the little “squares” left.  We spent about 2 1/2 hours working out in the yard.  As I worked, I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter and several times, Mark insisted I go sit in the shade as my face was getting far too red. 

I left the work area at about noon and went in the house to soak in a tub of cold water.  It felt so good to finally get my core temperature down! 

About an hour after we quit working, a cold front suddenly moved in and the temperature dropped down about 20 degrees. (Fahenheit…from 80 to 60!)  Mark said it was too bad we worked early in the day, but such is life!

I had planned to remove the two stumps that were together, but now, I feel fortunate to have the one done! It took a great deal of work to eradicate that thing!  Hopefully, tomorrow I will level the one behind it and we can rake the soil over both of them, never to see them again!

Elton Park on a Beautiful Afternoon

 Late Sunday afternoon, the kids and I decided we would like to get a sub for dinner.  It was a very pleasant afternoon, and I thought a little ride would be nice, so we went to a sub shop Mark and I frequented a lot when Mark was building the house.

We headed north on highway 64.  As we were coming into the little town of Bristol, Michelle hollered from the back seat, “turkey ahead, turkey ahead”! I had to slow down a bit to avoid hitting the lone bird.  What a strange place for the hen to be crossing!  I told Michelle to take a picture, and I slowed down a bit….

That was through my hideously dirty, dusty back window of the Explorer. Oh, and did I mention we were on our way to get *turkey* subs???

The kids decided that since we were in close proximity to one of their favorite ice cream stores, we “ought to stop”.  So, we ate a backward meal…..dessert first,  main course last!  We ate our ice cream, then drove over to the sub shop where I went in and picked up our dinner.

After coming out of the sub shop,  I decided since it was such an incredible afternoon,  I would wander to the park next to the shop and take a few photos.  The kids and I had already agreed to save the subs until we got home and then we would eat on the front porch.

This little park is called Elton Park and it sits in the town of East Bloomfield right off Route 5 & 20.  (Yes, it is actually *routes* 5 & 20, but because the two run together a good distance, it has become *route*!)  By the way, this particular roadway is very well-traveled, as it offers beautiful scenery as well as many antique and “unique” shops!

Here is the park, looking from the southwestern corner…..

To the east side of the park, across the street, sits the East Bloomfield Untited Methodist Church…..

And I know the name of the church because of this…..

To the west side of the park, across the street, sits the First Congregational Church….

Of which I am likewise certain…..

I have actually seen an angel visiting at the congregational church!

hehehe…In looking at this photo after uploading it, I see there is a conflict regarding the correct time!

There is a beuatiful archway leading to the park from Route 5 & 20.  It is dedicated to one Charlotte Augusta Steele Elton, but in looking on Google, I was unable to find information on her, other than a family tree.

She must have been from a rather wealthy family to have warranted such a lovely and impressive memorial! According to a small pillar at the side of the arch, the memorial was constructed in May, 1904, five years after her death.

There is a lovely little cemetery located just to the northeastern end of the park.  The kids probably would have balked if I suggested looking around a bit,  but I imagine Charlotte Elton is interred there.

That little plaque certainly is an informative little number!

As I wandered around the rather small area that makes up the park,  I was surprised to see a momument to signify this area was once the site of a Seneca Indian Village, and later, a Jesuit Mission was located here.

In the very center of the park is a very tall statue erected in the memory of those who fought  in defence of the Union (North) during the American Civil War.  It was erected through the efforts of the citizens  of East Bloomfield in 1869. (as per the informative plaque mentioned above!)

This statue is such an awesome tribute to one the bloodiest wars the US ever saw…..The names of locals, stating rank and place of death are etched in the base of the statue.

Cannons surround the statue on its four sides….

This fellow does look a bit weary after standing guard 140 years!

There is also this beautiful relief with the term “Excelsior”, (ever upward) which is New York State’s motto.

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I made my way back to the Explorer,  parked just beyond the pretty gazebo.

When the kids were little, Mark and I used to visit this park after picking up a pizza or subs from the shop we went to on Sunday.  We hadn’t been there in years, but the kids remembered it well.  There are also a few picnic tables there, and they recalled eating at them!

Well, it is amazing all of the interesting little areas surrounding us if we just keep our eyes open!

Ridiculous!

(splat!)

Excuse me whilst I clean up the rotten tomato lobbed my way….Ah yes, the sun-worshipping folks must have been cheering loudly today as the temperatures soared!  Me…well, suffice it to say that my mood was (much) less than cheerful today.  Imagine yourself sitting in a sauna and your body glows with heat, but you discover you cannot, will not, sweat!  Instead, your face turns a red color that rivals the red bulbs on old-fashioned thermometers!  That is precisely where I find myself in warm….no, HOT weather!

Okay, I shan’t complain anymore….I did *enough* of that today! (And do not even DARE breathe that I will be complaining when the snow begins falling next Winter….I will swallow my tongue before I will complain about cold weather!!!)

As I walked to the mailbox early this afternoon,  I spotted a hawk gliding through the air.  It was amazing to watch this huge bird circling high up in the skies, then gliding gracefully without a care in the world! This photo isn’t good, but it was nearly impossible to predict the bird’s path!

As the day progressed, the temperature rose higher and higher.  Thankfully, the family took mercy upon this poor soul and decided taking a ride in the air-conditioned truck might help cool me down!  Since they were offering,  I told them we could take the “long way” to Canandaigua so I could check to see if there were any new goslings where I spotted the little one the other day.

Mark pulled the truck into the small parking area where the geese were and I was so disappointed to see a van parked there with a gentleman fishing. Drat!  Mark encouraged me to get out anyway, so I did.  As I walked down to the water, following the path of least resistance,  Mark called out the window to follow a narrow path to the left.  He said he saw a goose swimming in that direction.

He sure did see a goose! What he didn’t spot was the wee gosling in tow!

I have no idea if this is the same goose and little one I saw before.  I did see a pair of geese swimming together in the opposite direction.

We made our way to Canandaigua and when we arrived,  I was awestruck by the trees in one of the plaza parking lots!

I shopped a bit in Wegman’s and then we headed over to the pier.  I couldn’t believe all the activity. There were people everywhere!  People walking dogs. People fishing.  People boating. And…..this (zealous) guy was jet-skiing!

That spray of water behind him had to be mighty chilly!  I did notice he was wearing a wet suit!

All of the girlie Mallards are gone.  It was amazing…..no more Coots, no Buffleheads….But, there were several Mallard drakes (and Mallard wannabees!) hanging out together.  I guess they bide their time entertaining and begging for scraps of food while the ladies sit on nests!

I was so pleased with the picture below. To me, it speaks “peaceful”, even in the midst of all the hullaballo on the pier above.  What I didn’t notice at first was that group of ducks in the lower left corner!

With the water splashing, it almost appears they are racing to the boat so they can be in the photo!!!

MEN!

Well, go ahead and throw those tomatoes and pick on me. It certainly can’t be any worse than the HEAT of today!!!

Photos From this Weekend

Be forewarned that the following photos are quite random!

Actually, if you followed along with me yesterday when I took a ride to Woodville, these photos would make perfect sense!  I decided to take the time to photograph things that caught my eye along the way. So, here we go….

This boat was parked alongside the road near the boat launch.  The name really captured my eye… what a terrific name for a fishing boat!

I parked along the road and walked over to the boat launch, not wanting to get in the way.  There was so much activity!  Boats were going into the water, coming out of the water, and waiting in line in and out of the water!  People were also fishing on the docks.

I am always on the lookout for “new” things and was happy to spot a new sign!

Hmmm….like they say, you learn something new every day!

I posted the two goose photos yesterday in great haste, as we were getting ready to take the kids down to the Teen Skate.  I had made mention that when I arrived at the area where they were, the big goose was acting a little “funny”. In the following photo,  you can see why I was unable to accurately “read” the goose. This was the first of the series of photos I took and as I was “snapping away”,  I never saw that tiny little leg behind the parent’s leg!

In all honesty, I squeaked with delight when I saw the little one wander out in front of the parent goose!

I lingered with the geese for about five minutes, then left,  not wanting to disturb either of the pair. As I drove back toward home,  I pulled over in another little spot where vehicles had worn the grass off the area.  I had to take a picture of the signs…..

Woodville is situated at lake level, coming off a steep hill from the north.  I drove back up the hill, keeping my eyes open for anything interesting to photograph.

Well, I thought this was interesting!

Yes, this is Bristol Springs Free Church. (“Free” not meaning fees are typically charged at chuches! The term signifies that this is, rather, a non-denominational community church)

Do you remember this church had a fire in the “steeple” last summer when it was struck by lightning? Well, a new “crown” was fashioned and I saw workmen using ropes and such to place it a couple weeks ago.  I kept wanting to photograph this,  but I had to park and walk around to get photos without all sorts of utility lines in the pictures!

I love the gingerbread! And, it really does kind of resemble a crown, doesn’t it?

Across from the church were some Forsythia bushes gone WILD!

There is a small restaurant nearby with extremely limited parking available.  I love their sign regarding where NOT to park…..

One more photo….this one from today.  As I was working early this afternoon,  I looked out the window and was surprised to see a pair of Mourning Doves perched in the tree!

I’ve never seen doves near the house before!

The weather yesterday and today has been uncomfortably warm. (at least for me!) Tomorrow is promising a “scorcher” according to the weatherman.  I had a headache on and off all day today…probably from heat! We are assured the weather will cool off come midweek.  I am looking forward to then!

Oh no….Geese Again!

Just a short time ago, I ventured down to Woodville to have a quick little poke around to see what I might see.  There were lots of fishing boats, as well as pleasure boats coming and going at the launch.  Busy, busy!

I drove down the road just a bit further to see if there were any geese or ducks where I spotted them last year.  I pulled in and saw a goose just standing there.  Its body language hinted that it didn’t want me to approach, so I squatted down and waited to see what was up.

After a couple of minutes,  I saw the tiny little gosling that tottered about, looking quite “new”!

I cropped one of the photos on the camera (just because it was so quick to do) and the quality of the photo is lacking, but isn’t this cute?  The little one nestled at its parent’s feet and nibbled on the grass surrounding it.

I suppose the other parent was nearby, sitting on a nest of eggs that have yet to be hatched.  Such dedication….

Sometimes Life is Just So Good!

Today didn’t start out so well!  Well, that is, unless one is content awakening to slushy snow all over the place…..it is Spring, after all! It was so cold outside, and the house cooled down a lot inside as well.  Feeling chilled to the bone,  I made a small fire in the woodstove.  This is something I’ve not done in a couple of weeks!

The weather forecast for today called for clearing skies later in the day.  The sun was even supposed to appear! 

I made a large meal at three this afternoon.  The kids had their Bible study this evening and sometimes they eat before they go, although food is served before the study begins.  I just wanted to make sure they were full, as I get annoyed when asked to cook after about eight!

We dropped the kids off at their study,  then I asked Mark to take me to the City Pier.  The lake was simply awesome, reflecting the blue skies above it.  I told Mark I would be back “in a bit” and went off to shoot some photos….

Oh my goodness! Do you see the Great Blue Heron standing on the rocks?  I have never seen a heron at the lake’s northern area before.  I was so excited!

I spent quite a bit of time photographing the heron.  I also saw some Coots, Mallards, and Bufflehead Ducks. The lighting and atmosphere lent itself to near perfection this early evening….The excrutiatingly elusive Buffle allowed a great photo of it!

If you double click any of my photos, you can see them larger….the Buffle’s eye shows well in this photo that look more like a surreal painting than anything!

Since I had no “close encounters” this evening,  I won’t bore you to tears telling details of the following photos….

Wow, I wish the weather was always so cooperative!