Evening Reflections from the Pier

This morning when I drove Michelle to school,   I was awestruck by the magnificent  golden sunshine flowing down to earth…it was cold enough for frost,  but the skies were brilliant blue….

The day continued on as it started with clear skies and an orb that sent rays of gold,  even though the temperature stayed chilly.  It was pretty much an outstanding day,  particularly since the calendar says November.   And not even the begining of November, at that!  This weather has left much room for conversation by the locals…the general consensus  is that we may be enjoying this weather now, but sooner or later,  we are “gonna pay”!   Pay or not,  I haven’t heard any grumbling about the weather! 

By the time I headed out to pick Michelle up from school,  the sun was getting low in the sky and I had a few minutes to spare, so I jumped at the chance to take some sunset reflections……

sunset on the pier 1.small

sunset on the pier 2.small

sunset from the pier 3.small

sunset on the pier 4.small

sunset on the pier 5.small

sunset on the pier 6.small

Does Anyone Know Where Yesterday Went?

and if you find it, would you let me know?

geese near winton plaza.small

We had to run to Rochester in the early afternoon to shop for various things.  We needed to pick up a new vent for the downstairs bathroom,  some new parts for the pool pump, and some items for a party Michelle is having on Sunday.  Even though the list didn’t seem that long,  the stores were located miles apart and we seemed to be rushing all about! The day just evaporated right before our very eyes….

(The photo of the geese above was taken outside of the pool store. Michelle thought they were lawn ornaments until they began moving!)

Christkindl Market

Last year, my friend Jeanne  told about the Christkindl Market in Canandaigua and I somehow felt a bit cheated I didn’t go!  So, this year, I made a point of getting there during the little festival!

This market may be small,  but the vendors’ offerings were awesome!  I saw some beautiful paintings, photography, jewelry, woodcrafts, and even more!  The products I saw were so beautiful and inspiring! 

There were folks dressed in period clothing as well.  And, for children, there was “Elf School”.  I think this was a babysitting service for parents so they could shop and look around a bit more freely. 

Here are some photos….

granger homestead.small

The Granger Homestead is a museum located in Canandaigua.  It is a large property with a huge front yard. This is where the Christkindl Market was set up.

pretty decoration.small

Because the month of November can be warm, cold, or anything in between,  massive tents are provided to keep shoppers protected from the elements.  As I walked into the food tent,  I could hardly believe how cozy it was!  Even though it was enormous,  there were tables set up for folks to enjoy a meal and there were Christmas decorations everywhere. 

enormous food tent.small

There were also some food vendors located outside the tent.  They also had quite the draw!!

popular spot.small

mmmmm strudel.small

There was an Alpaca there as well…..

pretty alpaca.small

Iwanted so badly to just go and grab this sweet-looking animal!  Its coat was so fluffy and pretty….it reminded me of a teddy bear!

There was another huge tent set up that housed the vendors at the market.  This was the entrance….

entrance to market.small

This is the Elf School.  There was a lot of laughter coming from the building as well as children singing!

elf school.small

(how nice to see Santa’s helpers wearing Uggs as opposed to those silly pointy-toed shoes! hehehe)

Once inside the tent, I took just a few photos of some vendors that didn’t have so many people standing around I couldn’t get a photo!!!

yummy chocolates.small

photography.small

beautifully handpainted glass ornaments.small

Of course, my Ukrainian blood bubbled when I saw these stunning Pysanky eggs!!!

gorgeous pysanky eggs.small

I spent only about an hour wandering around this market.  The kids had gone to another concert down in Naples and Mark waited with the Scottie boys in the truck while I wandered about.  I was totally disappointed when I poised the camera to snap a horse and carriage giving folks rides around the property.  My camera flashed a message: Card Full! By the time I got a new card in the camera, said carriage was off and running!

Another disappointment was when I snapped a photo of some fantastic artwork.  The artist had some really pretty work on display but she came up to me and told me no photographs.  I obligingly deleted the photo. She explained last year someone photographed her work and there “were problems”.  Ah well……

The photos I took of Santa and Mrs. Claus were no good. Bummer.

Before heading back to the truck,  I visited the food tent once again, waiting in a long line to buy Mark a German takeout dinner.  I got him either Knockwurst or Bratwurst (don’t laugh,  I opted NOT to get him the pork tongue schnitzel!) served with German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut.  As I passed the Kettlecorn stand,  I bought a small bag of freshly-popped corn as well.

One of the pluses of this market was that I also met some “neighbors” who live in the same town as we do. They were vendors, selling Russian dolls. They had the beautiful Matryoshska dolls that I so love for their colorful designs!  I spoke to the husband who told me his wife travels to Russia to purchase the dolls, selling them stateside. As we talked, he pointed out some little girls whom he said he and his wife had adopted from Russia! 

All in all, this market wa a fun little diversion!

Thankful to be Free to be You and Me!

In being thankful,  one of the most awesome benefits we all share is freedom!  We are free to visit places we have never been,  speak our minds on what we think,  do what we would like, pursue interests, and even to eat pretty much what we would like!

We live in such an amazing period of time.  We can “travel” worldwide, via the internet and speak to people all the world over!  Just a few short years ago, the cost of calling a foreign country by telephone was quite prohibitive.  Now, people can speak with one another with services such as Skype,  using their computers and webcams!  We not only get to “speak”, but to “see” one another.  A small freedom?  Perhaps, but how exciting for families and friends separated by distance!

In many countries, we are free to worship as we would like.  There are a few countries that persecute people for their religious beliefs,  but this is certainly not the majority of the world.  We have heard of secret underground churches and even executions of those who stand steadfast in their faith.  Those who are Christians are called to pray for people in these nations on a regular basis.

And speaking of religious freedom,  I managed to capture a few photos of the Amish when I went for my ride in the country the other day!

amish buggy.small

I admire the Amish folks living in their very simple ways.  They have “come around” in many areas….most homes now have running water (although I am unsure how the water gets into their lines….perhaps gas-powered motors?) and many have propane refrigerators so they are able to keep food safely.  I still am awestruck by their means of transportation, though.  It is such a contrast to see horse and buggy traveling alongside modern cars…..

amish buggy on yauzty road.small

Most Amish (and many Mennonite) homes have a clothline that runs from their home to a barn or other tall building. I love seeing the laundry flapping in the breezes on washday!

lwash day.small

Even those living under oppression still have some very basic freedoms.  We have heard stories of those who survived the Halocaust and those who have escaped from countries where freedoms were being denied.  Many of the testimonies given by these survivors would indicate something welled up inside of them, causing them to be free in some manner that might have been their saving grace. 

Every day, we choose to be happy. Or sad.  To do the right thing. Or wrong.  We choose to serve others.  Or take advantage.  We choose to move ahead.  Or freeze in looking behind. 

Freedom.  It is awesome and comes with some awesome responsibilty!

Splish Splash!

A couple of Sundays ago,  while my family was feeling pretty awful,  I went out on a Sunday to get some things they asked for….it was the least I could do!   This was the day that I discovered Scotland Road in Canandaigua.  After I had driven down that particular street,  I then decided to take another side street I hadn’t traveled before. (A small exploration,  if you will!)

I am kind of a scary driver to be with,  I suppose,  as I tend to look around as I drive.  I often pull over on the side of the road to take pictures and even though I am a good driver,  I might look a bit distracted!  Anyway,  I drove along the little side street when I came upon this…..

why is there a firetruck parked on the streetsmall

A firetruck parked (nonchalantly?) in the street.  There were no sirens, no flashing lights.  Just a firetruck sitting in the street.   Curiosity certainly made me wonder….I slowed down to a crawl and passed the big red truck,  wondering all the while.   Since no one was behind me, I pulled over a little past the truck and looked back.  I then discovered why the firetruck was parked there!

I didn’t feel inclined to turn around and go back,  so I merely aimed the camera at my rear view mirror……

rear view mirror explains it.small

I haven’t seen an open hydrant since I left New York City!  I remember the city kids would somehow manage to open the valves and send what seemed like millions of gallons of water gushing all over the streets of Brooklyn!

I do believe this fireman was “flushing the mains”.  I remember when I was growing up in a small city,  this was done a couple of times a year,  causing the water that came out of the tap to be “riled”…..gross-looking “dirty” water!  I had always assumed this was a public utilities job,  and I was a bit surprised to see a fireman doing this!

For the Beauty of the Earth

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Every spring, as all the Bristolwood awakens from winter’s slumber,  this verse from Isaiah comes to mind. Seeing the brilliant green leaves unfolding,  looking so similar to fingers and open hands reaching for the sky,  I can easily envision the branches “clapping their hands”.  This is such a joyful verse!

This afternoon,  I sat bedside,  looking out the window and admiring the blue skies and sunshine.  It was then that my wonderful Christmas Cactus once again caught my attention.  Christmas Cacti have those pretty flowers with the pink “spike” in the center…forgive me for long ago forgetting my science lessons in botany in which plant part names were fleeting at best!

I love Christmas Cactus plants so much just because they are so colorful!  Their flowers seem quite abundant with little care or fuss.  The flowers always appear,  the weight of the flower pulling the branch downward, giving the plant a “fountainlike” appearance.

But today, as I looked at the plant,  I smiled as I noted one flower; instead of looking down,  this glorious flower had its little face pointed heavenward!

joyful christmas cactus.small

If you have read here for any length of time,  you realize that my imagination causes me to ponder many times,  leading me into some abstract areas!  As I looked more closely at the flower,  I couldn’t help but be fascinated at the sparkly white flower with its pink “rim”.  The white brought to mind being “clothed in righteousness”…. Seeing the flower standing so boldly, looking heavenward, it seemed to not care what the other flowers thought about it.  Very profound.

And so,  I end this post being thankful for the beauty that surrounds us.  Beauty can be found everywhere…we need only spot it!

glad tidings cactus.small

Thankfulness

My friend Terri offered a challenge to her Facebook friends.  Here in the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day on  the fourth Thursday in the month of November.  This year,  it will be on the 26th. Terri suggested each day until Thanksgiving,  we write something for which we are thankful.

I love Terri’s suggestion, and thought I would try to write a blog post each day,  naming something for which I am thankful.  We are all so blessed in more ways than we can even imagine, and I thought it might be fun to add a photo as well! 

Today,  I am thankful for each day I am given.  This daywas an exceptionally beautiful day, even with quite a chill in the air!  When I took the Scotties out this morning, we were greeted by a world shrouded in a heavy frost.  In looking up into the sky,  the stars were magical!  Each was so pronounced and  just almost took my breath away!

This evening, as the sun set over the hills to the west,  the pastel watercolors splashed against the canvas were nothing less than incredible!

pastel watercolor skies.small

Thank you, Lord, for this day and each day we are given!

Psalm 118:26   This is the day that the Lord has made; we shall rejoice and be glad in it.

Just a *Touch* of Color

One day last week,  I had to stop at Walgreen’s Pharmacy in Canandaigua.  I hurried into the store and made my purchase and on my way out to the Explorer,  I saw what didn’t seem possible.  There, in the midst of dead brush and bramble was a cluster of beautiful purple color!

a little unexpected color amid the dead brush.small

Our flowers like these have been gone now for weeks.  I’m not sure what kept this awesome plant from succumbing to the ravages of a frost,  but it certainly was pretty!