The Blessing of the Challenge….

“I HATE math!” Michelle shrieked out this morning.  Of course, a great sense of compassion welled up in my soul.  Math has absolutely brought me to tears….just about a month ago, while trying to help Ben with a math problem, I spent well over an hour struggling and finally ending up near tears!

When the kids get hung up on their assignments it is usually in my best interest to send them to “The Mathmagician”.  Yes, that is how I refer to Mark.  He hasn’t done anything extraordinary to deserve this name….he *merely* understands math! And, he is a hard-nosed when it comes to th kids understanding it as well!

Last year, all of Michelle’s friends declared they were “finished” with math and taking “Consumer Math” as their last year’s coursework.  Feeling no love for math and certainly wanting to make Michelle happy,  I was willing to go along the path of lesser resistance!

When Michelle proposed her idea to Mr. Mathmagician,  he gave her a resounding “NO!”.  I felt so sorry for poor sweet little Michelle.  How could he, after all, expose our little daughter to the (shudder) nightmare that is called “Precalculus”?

Just a short time ago, Michelle called out that she COULD do her math! She was so excited and I suddenly came to a new revelation….Even as Michelle is exposed to the “bear” of mathematics, she is learning such a valuable lesson in real life.  She is not only learning to solve what seem meaninglessly extreme math problems,  she is learning to resolve real life problems.  Her ability to seek information to help her solve math will help hone her skills to be able to solve life situations when they confront her!

Wow….and I thought an old dog could never learn new tricks! Here I am….Michelle’s mom….and my eyes were opened today! Perhaps I should take a math course?

LOOK! UP in the SKY! IT’S a BIRD, IT’S a PLANE…..IT’S………

A totally, utterly ENRAGED GOOSE!

You cannot read this blog very often without reading about some of my (loonie!) (mis)adventures.  Such was the case early this evening.

We ran up to Rochester for Mark to visit the Guitar Center.  Then we went to Sam’s Club to buy gas and a few groceries. Afterwards, the kids asked if they could shop a few minutes together in the mall. So, we drove over to the mall….

THAT is where Mark innocently (perhaps foolishly!) pointed out a cute family of Canada Geese, complete with tiny little yellow fuzzball goslings!  So….yes, we *had* to make a mandatory stop!

I tumbledout of the truck with Nikon camera, looking to see what I could see……

That, my friends, is a Canada Goose sitting in the most insane place.  But, the goose isn’t just sitting there! Look closely and you can see the goose is actually sitting upon a nest!  This nest is built on a long skinny median in the middle of the mall PARKING lot!!!

I walked over towards this goose when suddenly…….I hear wild, no, EXTREMELY wild honking coming toward me.  I look up and there is the bookend (mate) of this placid goose coming straight towards me with its wings spread full out!  Because I am fearless insane, and not given to fits of “freaking out” very frequently, I held my ground. I did do one small thing that *might* have made the attack goose think twice…..I hissed at it!

The attacker came down to a graceful landing and then walked back and forth, hissing at ME!

Oh…..uh, no I wasn’t shaking when I took that photo….the goose was moving fairly rapidly!

Now I must digress for a moment and tell a funny story from my illustrious past!

I once owned a lovely Irish Setter by the name of Shelby.  She was a dyed-in-the-wool Irisher, through and through.  She always had a twinkle in her eye and was game for some good clean fun!  For a short period of time,  I had actually thought I would like to have some geese.  I contacted a woman who had three African Grey Geese she wanted to find a home for, so I took them.

One of the trio of geese was a female who felt compelled to lay infertile eggs around the premises.  The eggs never seemed to be together…they were here, there, and everywhere.

Now, Miss Shelby loved those big ole goose eggs.  She would carefully gather one up in her mouth and race around the yard, nose high in the air.  It was certainly a sight to see!

One afternoon, I looked out in the yard and there was Shelby, racing across the front yard….but wait!  Firmly gripping hold of her tail was a goose, flapping its wings wildly and following after the big red dog!   I think I will never forget that sight….How I laughed at my big red girl with a silly goose attached to her tail!

Well, needless to say,  I left the inflamed goose and went over to see the little family Mark had originally commented about.  They were much less aggressive,  but the wee ones minded perfectly!

Wish we would have been there earlier in the day when the lighting was a bit better.  The day was cold and dreary with light drizzle while I was taking these photos.

The most humorous part about these photos, though, is that not ten minutes before I took them,  I had complained to Mark about not taking many photos today!!!  Now, I had to “eat crow”! YUCK!

Oh So Colo(u)rful!

Okay, so this might well be one of those days of *multiple* posts, but I cannot help this one!  I decided to sit in the bedroom for a bit.  I heard the birds singing and just had to take a look….I realize you have seen these all here before, but I just cannot even begin to explain, in words, what it is like to look out the window and see all of these gorgeous God creations in one fell swoop……

Not the Best Day Photographically!

Yesterday was such a Monday !  You know, the kind of day when one is busy and just feeling a little overwhelmed by the day! Mark had an appointment with the doctor in the afternoon, so I was looking forward to just getting out of the house for a “breath of fresh air”!

The kids worked on their schoolwork in the morning and Mark did some things he needed to do.  We had discovered last week that he had another pressure sore.  This had thrown me into a feeling of anxiety, as the last one literally kept him down for three months.  Going with some instinctive feelings,  I treated this little sore a bit differently than usual.  Well, the good news is that it was completely healed yesterday morning. 

We left home a little after one in the afternoon and Mark and I went in for his appointment.  The doctor is so great and our visits are more enjoyable than stressful. 

We left the doctor’s office and another little “adventure” began!  The kids had planned to meet with some of their friends at the pastor’s home before their youth group in the evening and then we would pick them up again shortly after eight.

Before heading down to drop the kids off,  Mark stopped so they could grab a bite to eat.  Then we went over to Wal Mart so I could grab a couple of items.  After our stops, we headed down to the church.  As we were driving along the east side of Canandaigua Lake,  I caught site of a pair of Bufflehead Ducks rather close to the shoreline.  Mark turned the truck back around and I hopped out.  Sure enough, as soon as the pair saw me walking, they took off.

This photo is rather poor quality, but there was a mist in the air and the wind was blowing so hard, I was surprised any image showed up at all! It was a dismal, dreary sort of day.  I had worn a windbreaker jacket over a turtleneck shirt and I was shivering in the damp chill!

After dropping the kids at the pastor’s house, (one of their friends is the pastor’s son) we headed on over to Penn Yan.  We had planned to go to the Mennonite store there.  I had been thinking about the fantastic sweet turkey bologna I had bought the last time I went. 

Mark went into the store with me and I had to smile as he felt a bit of “sticker shock” over the price of goods.  I remember when his father couldn’t understand how a loaf of bread could cost more than $1.50 and smiled as Mark expressed some disbelief in how some prices have increased on items.

We bought several things, including two pounds of the tasty bologna!  I made a comment to the Mennonite woman waiting on me that the bologna is so good and she said it shouldn’t “really” be called bologna, as it isn’t “quite the same” as typical bologna! (She is so correct, as this has no greasy, garlicy flavor!)

After leaving the store, Mark asked where I wanted to go.  Since we were going to have a little “picnic in the truck”,  I told him about a rest area located just down the road a ways.  We pulled in and I hopped out to gather up the necessities for our “dinner” in the back. 

I had bought a loaf of the great French bread at WalMart, along with some “sweet hot” mustard!  I grabbed those, along with the bolonga, a bag of potato chips, and some sodas we had in a cooler.  The little Scottie boys were shooed to the back seat and Mark and I relaxed over our dinner.  We laughed when I inquired what Mark might have said if I told him we were having bologna sandwiches and chips for dinner! We just enjoyed this little adventure and it was nice to be able to talk without the kids interrupting!

After finishing our “gourmet” dinner,  I put things away and we decided to watch a movie Mark had saved on the hard drive of his laptop.  I am of the mindset that I could easily live on the road, in a pickup truck!  The seats of that truck are more comfortable than any seating in our house!  They recline, too,  so one can get quite comfortable!

Mark placed the computer on the fold down console between the front seats and we reclined for the show! Angus hopped onto Mark’s lap to look out the window, as he always does!,  while Murphy curled up on my lap.  Mark had removed his jacket (yes, men are always warm while women are chilled!!!)  so I had it like a blanket over me and Murphy, too!

We watched the movie, which came to an end at about 7:15.  I told Mark I wanted to go to the grocery store for “ice cream”.  Before leaving, I took the Scotties out onto the grass to relieve themselves.  Angus, the “ever watchful”, began to whimper as he heard the “clip-clip-clop” of a horse pulling an Amish buggy along the road.  At Angus’s heralding,  Murphy lunged forward and tugged against me, wanting to give chase! Fortunately,  I held a tight grip and herded the little buggers into the truck!

We stopped at the store and I got a package of Klondike bars. Then we were off to gather up the kids!

We got home shortly after nine.  The kids were starving and I fixed…what else?  Yes, delicious bologna sandwiches on fresh French bread with the “magic” mustard! Michelle did me one better, mixing up some veggie dip for the potato chips.

As soon as the kids had finished eating,  Michelle and I both headed off to bed.  I was so tired and so was she! 

Even though it had turned out to be a rather cold and miserable day, we really did have a nice and fun afternoon and evening!

Homes for Rent

  • Homes for rent
  • Close to waterfront
  • Close to restaurants
  • Unfurnished luxury homes

These homes are located just a few steps from beautiful Canandaigua Lake.  This assures wonderful breezes in the summer.  No need to worry about parking….there is plenty available. Restaurants are located nearby and the area is always hopping. These are the perfect homes for those who enjoy “people watching” and just raising their family in a safe and lovely environment!  There is always plenty of sightseeing as well…See photo below.


Today was an uneventful type of day….very welcome after feeling dizzy from being busy earlier in the week!  I had one large order to pack and ship out today…an Amish girl from Missouri orders large quantities about twice a year.  I packed her order shortly after lunch today.

Mark had made an appointment for the truck at the garage for five this afternoon…he asked if I minded taking it in.  No problem on my end, as the Scottie boys were running low on their favorite kibble.  The Country Max store is just a few miles north of the garage, so I could pick up the food before the appointment.

I left home at about 3:30.  I drove to Canandaigua as I wanted to see if the Dollar Store was still carrying the drinking glasses I had bought there a couple of years ago.  I bought several extras, but we were down by a few, so I decided to check.  Since no one was with me,  it seemed I could think a bit more clearly. I  *never* remember to check for the glasses if the kids are with me!

The Dollar Store had the glasses, so I grabbed three and headed toward the cashier.  Then I remembered the big banner out front that announced the store now had dairy and frozen foods.  Turning about face,  I headed to the coolers and freezers just to see….

Oh MY!  “Imitation” Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheeses? Eww. There wasn’t anything too interesting….until my eyes lit upon a package of Icee brand frozen treats.  Ben has been craving Icees for days and the only place we can find them nearby (yeah, about 30 miles away!) is at BJ’s Wholesale Club.  I wasn’t sure about these freezer cups, but picked up a package.  After paying, I took the Icee treats and set them inside a fabric freezer bag we had in the back of the truck.  For good measure, I placed the other bag with the glasses I had purchased in there as well.  The cashier had wrapped them in layers of newspaper, so I thought perhaps the paper would help insulate the frozen treats a little more.

I drove on to Farmington where I bought a big bag of kibble, along with three bags of Cedar mulch for my front garden.  The flower beds are looking a tad shabby, and I love the look of mulch around the flowers and shrubs.

I made it to the Chevy garage at 4:50 and went right in for the appointment.  I then sat for about 45 minutes until the service man came and asked some questions about the truck. 

Of course, there *were* things to photograph while I waited….

Like a shiny “Victory Red” Vette!  With its fancy brakes……

And I loved the bug and chip guard on a big ole truck there in the showroom as well…..

 A couple of things were examined and then I was on my way once again.

Before I had left home, Mark and Michelle printed out eight Tom Wahl’s hamburger coupons for a “Buy one, get one free” cheeseburger.  As soon as I finished at the garage,  I called Mark and he ordered the burgers to go.  He called me back and said I had ten minutes to kill.  No problem there, as Tractor Supply is practically next door to the garage!

I pulled in, remembering Carly’s photos of the sweet little chicks she had seen at their Tractor Supply.  I hopped inside, bulging camera bag hanging off my shoulder.  I looked around  bit, finding  a fabulous pair of hiking boots marked down from $79 to $29.

Then I made my way over to the big water troughs that were making such curious little peeping noises….

One tub held the tiniest little chicks! They were so itty-bitty, but two of them were actually fighting! I was so amazed that such tiny little chicks would exhibit aggressive behavior!  Ugh!

The next tub held bigger yellow and golden colored chicks.  They were about twice the size of the itty bitty chicks.

Then my poor little heart!

Oh, these little ducklings just stole my heart.  How I longed for a pond so I could grab a bunch of them and set them out to float!  I bent down and examined them closely….they were just awesomely adorable!  I reached in and gently gathered one up.  Its soft little feet rested on my palm and I nearly melted on the floor!

Look at the “look” the little fellow in the middle is giving the camera!

The little darlings were lying in a heap under the heat lamp….suddenly a bunch of them jumped up and raced over to the waterer.  They happily slurped up water, smacking their bills and leaning their heads back to swallow! 

Instincts began kicking in and a couple of the little golden fuzzballs hopped into the water tray and tried to  SWIM!


Time was up. I needed to leave, so I paid for my boots and headed for the hamburger restaurant.  The family was more than happy at my arrival home around 6:45.  We ate our burgers and I cleaned up.  Mark and the kids were ecstatic about the (still!) frozen treats for dessert!

I went upstairs shortly after seven-thirty and just had to take one more photo….

Rays of golden sunlight were blazing in through the bedroom curtains.  I cannot look through my Nikon viewfinder directly at the sun as it could blind me,  so I approximated a photo. The little knick knacks are Mr. and Mrs. Claus…they were a gift from a dear Canadian friend of mine and I just cannot seem to pack them away for a year, so they sit upon my window…..

There was just such a deep sense of satisfaction as the sun set over the hill… had been a warm, bright, sunny day.  They just don’t seem to get any better…….

Getting A Head

Well, what else would you expect?  Sorry, but it seems like every time I see a Mallard Drake, it is as though I am seeing one for the first time! They are soooo beautiful!

Although today was a little slower paced than days past,  I found myself ready to fall into a heap this afternoon to fall asleep!  Yes, all of the busyness is beginning to catch up!

Today was pretty warm out and Ben and I ran up to Canandaigua this afternoon for Mark.  After errands,  I pulled into an ice cream stand that sells such wonderfully delicious frozen custard.  Thinking perhaps my boy would like a nice Chocolate Almond cone,  I was a little shocked when he chose Vanilla!  Egads, the kid is like ME!

We took our little dishes of the tasty dessert to the City Pier and sat,  watching the coots, ducks, and gulls playing in the water and entertaing any people who stopped by to watch.  In the photo below, I caught all three….coots, ducks, and gulls!!! Click twice to see the big picture and look at that (mouthy) seagull on the left.

The lake was a little less choppy today and the Buffleheads were closer to the pier than I had caught them before.  You can see in this photo that the Bufflehead is quite small in stature…the Coot might be bigger. 

This evening, Mark and I watched a Portland Pirates game as they are in the AHL (American Hockey League) playoffs this year.  They beat the Providence Bruins 3:0.  Portland’s goalie, Jhonas Enroth (from Sweden) was stellar in this evening’s game! 

We were really bummed by the fact that Buffalo didn’t make it into the playoffs this year.  Unfortunately, when the Sabres’s goalie, Ryan Miller, was run by Scott Gomez, he sustained a high ankle sprain that left him unable to play fourteen games.  It is nearly impossible for a backup goalie to come in so late in the season and maintain a winning status.  Thus, we suffered.  I might add that our “backup” (Mikael Tellqvist, also from Sweden)  goalie to the “backup”  (Patrick LaLime) played fantastically well his last two games, with Sabres wins.  I guess the bottom line is that Ryan Miller might still be recouperating from the injury and maybe it is better we didn’t make the playoffs…..after all, there is always next season, eh?

Did I Say We Were Gonna Rest Today?

Yeah, I thought so…

As Mark was going through bills and such today, he discovered that we had a rebate check for $30 that needed to be depostited today or it was VOID!  Argh!!  He asked me if I would mind running to Canandaigua to do “a few errands”. 

I went and got ready and was out the door shortly after one.  I got to the bank well before two, then drove over to Wegman’s to return an ocean full of soda bottles and cans.  I had two large trash bags full of bottles and cans that had been sitting in the garage for a very long time…Mark *gently* remarked that perhaps they needed to be recycled!

After feeding nearly ten dollars worth of recyclables into the hungry machines,  I grabbed a shopping cart and headed inside the store.  I love, love, love Wegman’s produce.  Their fruits and veggies far surpass any other grocers in the area.  I shopped around for awhile, then realized I was hungry.  I  hopped on over to the Chinese food and swooped up some Hot and Spicy Chicken, along with some Fried Green Beans. 

I hurried to the register to pay for my goodies, paper in hand from the bottle machine.  When it came time to pay, I completely forgot the paper and paid.  It was as I looked down for my keys that I realized I needed to redeem the slip of paper.  The cashier laughed and said she does the same thing all the time….she said she is always buying some stupid new item only because there is a coupon and then she forgets to redeem the coupon! Boy, did I feel better!

I rushed to the City Pier and ate my Chinese, watching the Coots, Mallards, and *suddenly* Bufflehead Ducks.  I shot a couple of photos of the ducks.   The water was so choppy and the wind so chilly, I decided to just stay inside the Explorer.

After lunch, I headed to the other side of Canandaigua to have two propane tanks for the grill filled.  Due to a case of daydreaming,  I way overshot my destination, so I took a few photos….

 Old barn (circa 1880) in color…..

And sepia…..

After filling the tanks, I shopped at WalMart (grabbing two roast chickens and a loaf of delicious French Bread for dinner!)  and then off to Big Lots for a jar of olives imported from Greece for Mark.  It was getting late and I knew I was going to be too tired to prepare dinner.

As I left Big Lots,  Ben called wanting to know if I could get him a “Slushy” from Hess.  I reluctantly headed to Hess and went inside to look for “the machine”.  No Slushy machine there. But, there was a drink called an “Avalanche”.  It comes in two flavors….Pepsi and Mountain Dew.

I  grabbed a cup and filled it up.  I turned to grab a lid for the drink and when I was about to place it on the drink,  I nearly shrieked! The drink had risen up a good two inches above the top of the cup! Argh!!! I began to giggle and “swipe” the excess drink off the top and into the runoff trough on the machine.  Being MUCH wiser, I filled another cup, allowing expansion room for the drink to rise.  I smiled as the lid easily snapped on!

I paid and rushed to the Explorer and headed home….As I drove, I made mental notes on the order of preparation for dinner.  Michelle helped me by heating the chickens  as I took a head of cabbage and grated it and made coleslaw.  Everything was ready to eat in fifteen minutes.

I expressed how tired I was and Mark snickered.  After all, he had already composed a NEW list of errands for tomorrow.  Top of the list?  A trip to Canandaigua!!!

Oh, did I mention that I also baked a loaf of Whole Wheat Walnut Bread this morning?  A very full day,  A very full day, indeed!