Thank You, Lord, for the Bright Spots!

I do firmly believe that God puts little “reminders” or, maybe even little “Love tokens” in our path just to let us know that He is thinking about us as we face the bears and giants in our lives. And so, I was greatly appreciative of my Christmas Cactus’s (untimely!) first blossoms of the year!

christmas cactus flower.small

An update on Michelle: Mark and Ben brought home some Ketucky Fried Chicken (grilled, not fried) as per my request. Michelle came downstairs just before they arrived home,  demanding some “real food”!  She ate and said she felt better.  She is still running a slight fever but feeling much better!  The downside is that I believe Mark is getting “the bug”…..

Feeling Weary and Dreary!

I hate the thought that how I feel has anything to do with the weather outside,  but rainy and chilly weather today has left me (and my heart) feeling somewhat cold and discouraged. 

It all began Thursday evening when the kids had a couple of their friends over for dinner and some games.  Michelle, who is always quite the hostess,  spent time resting on the couch….not such a good sign.  By the time the kids left,  she headed straight upstairs, not even saying good night.  Really not a good sign.

On Friday morning,  she complained that her throat felt as though it was swollen and she could not talk….only squeak! I never took her temperature,  only using my wrist,  but any fever she might have had was very low.  This morning when I talked to her, she said her stomach was somewhat messed up,  so Mark decided to call the doctor’s office.

We were advised to call a Triage nurse service, which Mark did.  He was told a nurse would call back within half an hour.  We waited and Mark looked up information online to see if there was anything we might do to help Michelle.  The nurse who called back  (within half an hour!)  said this form of “bug” has been making its rounds for the past few weeks and she should be feeling better within a day or two.

The nurse gave us several pieces of information and then I headed to our small “local” market  to pick up some yogurt and bananas for Miss Michelle.  When I came home, she ate about half a yogurt and a banana.  Signs of improvement!

Our kids are generally so healthy, it is hard seeing one of them being sick!

Mark and Ben ran to Rochester to do some merchandise returns.  I would like to have gone,  but I would never leave Michelle alone when feeling sick.  Shortly after Mark left,  the mailman brought a package and left it on the mailbox.  I knew it was for Mark so I trudged down to the mailbox just as the heavens let loose and the rain came down in a total cloudburst! 

Michelle is beginning to show some real signs of improvement!  Yesterday, she got a brand new laptop for a graduation present from Mark and me. (The reason it was given so late is because we wanted to get her a model with the new Windows 7 operating system.) My heart was feeling so torn as I saw the unopened box just sitting on the floor.  Before Mark left,  she came downstairs and opened her new computer.  Just a short time ago, she actually went downstairs and brought her shiny new computer to her room!

In today’s mail was an Oriental Trading Company catalogue.  We haven’t ordered from them in years!  I opened the pages and began leafing through….Oh, the memories that flooded my soul as I saw all the cute little items that Michelle and Ben ordered for their birthdays a few years ago.  This, of course, caused me to reminisce and come face to face with the fact that our kids are no longer “little kids”,  but teens, with many thoughts and ideas of their own.  Bittersweet.  But, they are good kids,  and for that,  I am so very grateful!

Ah, all this thinking made me realize the past is behind us, and we look ahead to the future with great anticipation.  I was so thankful for the nurse’s assesstment that Michelle should be feeling much better tomorrow.  I am thankful she is eating,  thinking she needs some sustenence to build her strength back!  And, I am thankful that the weatherman is predicting sunny skies for tomorrow.

Tomorrow shall indeed be a better day!

A Tender Moment…

Our little “Angus Braveheart”  has a tremendous reaction to certain noises that remind him of the clippers used to trim his coat.  If he is doing something he shouldn’t,  if we make a “bzzzz” sound with our lips, he hightails it!  Tonight when I took the Scotties out for the last time,  Angus hopped right up on the hot tub stairs and gave his fair lassie a kiss.

Unfortunately,  I did not have the camera!

I took Murphy inside and grabbed the camera, but my chance was now gone.  But this photo was pretty sweet anyway…

Angus watching over michelle.small

As I walked toward the house with my Braveheart in tow,  I thought about how Angus is not bothered in the least by the pump running on the hot tub.  As I was pondering this,  it seemed almost Providencial that “the bowl” was found sitting on the deck!

angus and the original bowl.small

That bowl looked enormous some six-and-a-half years ago when a tiny little Angus the wee puppy was placed inside and the kids gently pushed it back and forth across the tub….I nearly screamed when I saw it,  fearing that the bowl holding the precious cargo might tip!  The kids were having the best time,  guiding the wee little fellow afloat in his large silver vessel….Oh, the memory!

Thanks, My Dear Readers!

I want to thank you for continuing to read!   I got so busy,  I would sit at the computer at night and fall asleep! There was no time to visit blogs,  nor time to write!  That is tired!!!  I  am looking forward to the winter, as I am *hoping* things will slow down, even just a little!

Speaking of busyness,  Michelle has been busy with her college courses as well!  She dedicates several hours each week for her studies,  has been working for our pie-maker friend, Cindy, one day as week,  and she spends one day a week helping us with the slowly diminishing to-do list!  Mark and I are amazed at how well she is keeping up with everything! She is maintaining very admirable grades at school and that just makes us so happy!  It seems many schools look down on homeschooled kids, and I find it encouraging to think we did okay with her education!

Sunday afternoon, we spent a few hours burning about 12 stumps, along with what seemed like endless brush.  Mark had been stockpiling brush the past couple of years for this and with all the rain we’ve had, this was an opportune time to jump on it.

I took a few pictures after we had burned almost everything up….wish I had a “before” shot!

bonfire.small

Mark had the plow mounted on the ATV so he was able to condense the fire as it burned.  I was in awe of the amount of junk we burned!

Here is my faithful helper….

my smirking helper.small

Ben didn’t really “enjoy” doing this, but he stuck with me and willingly grabbed small stuff from the woods to keep everything going.  We brought lawn chairs and sat nearby to keep an eye on the fire as it burned.  And yes, we got pretty smoky smelling, too!  Yuck!

Here is a photo looking down from the burn pile towards the house. As you can see, many of our pretty leaves have already fallen to the ground!

looking down toward the house.small

I used two five gallon buckets to douse the fire,  filling them ten times for a total of twenty buckets to put the fire to rest!  We still have one stubborn stump left, but it is so charred, I am sure it will burn fairly readily when we decide to ignite it once again!

I Haven’t Disappeared!

This time of the year is always so busy with little jobs like gathering firewood,  securing the pool and camper for the winter,  and taking care of any other things that might happen along!  Thus, we have been up to our eyeballs in activities that have  kept me hopping!

I seriously haven’t taken very many photos this autumn.  I had planned to try a “leaf” trip around the Finger Lakes this year, but my plans were pushed to the back burner,  then aborted!  We just cannot do *everything*!

So,  I have loaded several photos taken over the course of last week for your pleasure.  If you hover over each photo, there is a title that basically gives you an idea of what you  are looking at.  The last photo, however,  was so funny.

along route 21 woodville 1,small

along route 21 woodville 2.small

along route 21 woodville 3.small

along route 21 woodville 4.small

along route 21 woodville 5.small

colorful background at church.small

weapon used to divide pumpkin.small

preparing pumpkin for baking.small

ready for the oven.small

scooping pumpkin from shell.small

finished product.small

vine on wall at widmer's.small

As I walked down to the mailbox one afternoon, this little critter happened across the driveway in front of me.  He had a savory Hikory nut wedged in his teeth that he was not about to let fall to the ground, so he literally hopped his way in front of me!  (click on the photo to enlarge so you can see the scampering squirrel!!!)

ridiculous hopping squirrel.small

Editing Fun

Yesterday while awaiting on Michelle at school,  I went to the city pier for a little while “just because”.  It was a warm day and there were several people enjoying it.   An elderly couple sat on one of the park benches,  feeding Gulls bread crumbs,  while a little boy and his mother fed ducks old cereal.  There were also people fishing from the pier.

I spent time talking to the woman on the bench as well as the young mother with her son.  It was fun just enjoying some chatter and watching the tyke’s face light up as ducks came charging full steam ahead, as though the large ziplock bags of outdated cereal were a beacon enticing them to swim ever closer.

The man and woman on the bench seemed to keep the gulls busy and the mother confided she was glad her little boy was able to feed the ducks as the gulls generally swoop down and steal all of the offerings!

As I walked back towards my Explorer,  the woman and I shared a smile as we saw a group of little sparrows enjoying some of the bread crumbs at the far perimeters that the greedy gulls had left behind. I think one of the little fellows actually posed for me!

As I edited the sparrow photo,  I decided to play just a little…something I seldom ever do.  As I worked on the photo,  I saw the texture of the photo begin to resemble an oil painting.  Very cool…..(you might want to click once or twice to see it better)

edited sparrow.small

And here is the original photo…

sparrow on city pier.small

As much as my fondness for greedy gulls has diminished greatly by their aggressive behavior towards other birds,  this one really *did* pose for me!  The elderly woman laughed out loud as she watched this bird sit and turn its head back and forth as though fretting that I get its “better side”!

sitting gull.small

Golden Bliss…

I guess that expression pretty much sums up my feelings about this time of the year.  Everywhere one wanders, it seems there are golden rays of sunshine shining down upon golden fields and golden trees!

cornfield and autumn trees,small

farm and cornfield.small

Every time we are out on the road,  I purpose that I will “memorize” the displays of color in my mind’s eye….but alas, it seems impossible!  I’m not sure why, but this time of the year,  I find myself seeking after the palette of colors surrounding me as though starved by the lush greens of the previous summer season.

The temperatures were more than kind today, to the point that the sweater I had tugged on earlier in the day had to come off as I got overheated.  Quite a contrast to the blustery winter weather we had!  We mustn’t grow comfortable, though,  as the weatherman has called for another cool-down this weekend.  Yes, it *is* that time of the year!

I will leave you with the feast that awaited me early this evening as the sun was setting over the western hills….

sunset outside bedroom window.small

Yes, enjoyed right out our bedroom window!  Did I ever mention I love the Bristolwood?

Off to Grandmother’s House We Went

Yesterday, we spent a few hours getting the last of our firewood supply stocked in the woodshed.  Not to *gloat* or anything, but it would seem I was correct in my assessment that we really didn’t need to cut any more firewood this year!  We still have (as a matter of fact) some beautiful white oak Ben and I cut a couple of weeks ago that we might bring in”just because”….Don’t worry…I won’t trouble Mark (much, anyway) that I was right about the firewood!!!

Mark had been concerned about a set of stairs in his mother’s garden behind her house.  She walks up and down this narrow set of steps that had no railing.  Mark decided we should go over to her house today and install a railing.  The weather was supposed to be much warmer than it has been the past several days, so we hopped on the chance to do this.

After dropping Michelle at school,  we went to Tractor Supply to get the necessary hardware for the job,  then on to Mark’s mom’s house.  When we got there, she asked about a sink in a powder room….the water was literally dribbling out of the faucet.  She told Mark she might have the plumber look at it after he checks out her boiler.  Mark told me to soak the aerator in vinegar and see if that might help.  Well, after soaking a few hours,  I looked at the vinegar, and it was obvious it had dissolved a lot of buildup in the aerator.  I placed it back on and what a difference!  It made me feel good to know that we had saved her a possible bill!

Ben did a fantastic job on the railing….

grandma's new stair railing.small

grandma's new stair railing 2.small

Ben did measuring and Mark did the cutting with his circular saw.  It took time, as Ben needed to excavate next to the steps so he could attach the “uprights” for the railing to the six inch timbers used in the stairs.  This system worked fabulously and it really will help my mother-in-law out as she now has a railing.

As Ben and Mark were working,  we saw many, many ladybugs flying about.   I am not sure if they had just hatched out or were seeking winter housing as it was a warmer day.  At one point,  I saw a few on the hose…I grabbed my camera and took a macro.

shiny ladybug on hose.small

We picked Michelle up from school and headed to grab a bite to eat, as we hadn’t eaten since this morning.  We all arrived at home feeling kind of “zapped”!   Two days of fresh air is tiring, indeed!