Crawling out from the Blahs!

I decided to “go lie down” last Sunday after feeling terrible with a bad cold.  No big deal.  I figured I would feel better in a day or two. Or three. Four. Five. Six!

Today was the first day that I got up, dressed, and stayed awake almost the entire day.  Before this, I spent much of my time coughing to the point that I was sure I was choking.  If I didn’t lose weight from all the coughing I have done, I would be totally surprised.  My abs have definitely tightened up a bit with all the “activity”.

When I spoke to Carly on Friday evening, she wondered aloud if I might have Bronchitis. I discounted this, but as I thought about it the next day, I realized she might be right.  I have not felt this sick since before Ben was born.  I was sick an entire ten weeks before he was born.  He was taken C-Section, as I had a terrible pain in my side the day he was born; the doctors verified Ben was in distress and he was taken.  Poor fellow was feverish upon birth and needed to be cooled! Meanwhile,  I was being administered morphine and who knows what antibiotics.  It took a couple of days before I finally came round….(I shan’t go into how if I would have had an ounce of strength in my body at that time, I surely would have lobbed an object at the mouthy nurse who looked at my sorrowfull state and asked, Oh, a smoker?)

 I  began taking a round of antibiotics yesterday and the difference between “before and after” has been extreme and like day and night.  Although I have a ways to go, I am feeling some strength coming back into my body. Whereas each day last week it was a chore to rise off the bed to even use the bathroom, today I actually cooked a meal and made fresh rolls. 

Needless to say, it is good to be back amongst the living!

Under the Weather!

In case you have wondered where I have been,  well…I picked up a nasty, rotten cold that has been messing with me! This is the first cold I have had in a very long time, and I think I would rather have three smaller colds than this one….Hopefully, I will be back soon with some photos! I tried taking a few pictures the other day, but they were terrible!

The good news is that I am beginning to recover.  I asked Mark to take me down to Subway this afternoon.  I got a sub with lots of extra tomatoes, thinking the vitamin C is just what I need to blow this thing away.  As we were coming home from Naples,  Mark drove through Woodville and there were hundreds (?) or thousands (?) of Coots swimming just where the ice stops on the lake. 

Hope everyone reading is doing well and that this cold doesn’t come near you or your loved ones!

Why New Yorkers…

do not live in houses made of snow!

The weather here went “balmy” on us Thursday and Friday.  It was so warm, I was actually working outside with just a sweater on instead of a heavy jacket! 

Mark sadly watched as all of the wonderful snowmobiling snow evaporated or melted away….

Yesterday, I had planned to take a drive down to see my Amish friend, Eunice.  Mark decided he would like to go as well, so we left the kids at home to do some studying.  As we drove south of Naples, we were shocked to see several inches of snow remaining on the valley floor running down towards Bath.  Our snow had melted to the point that we could see grass and I even spotted crocuses or tulips poking through the soil in the garden.  Interesting!

The forecast for today called for scattered flurries…showers….whatever.  Last night, as I went to bed, the wind outside was so loud, it sounded as though it was mercilessly beating the house and everything else in its way! I awakened throughout the night to the sound of loud gusts. Our lights dimmed a bit at one point, but our electricity didn’t go out.

When I woke up this morning, the first thing that hit me was that it seemed chilly in the house.  I hadn’t made a fire in the stove since yesterday morning, and when we went to bed, it was still warm.  This morning, however, it was cold! I got up and could see snow “pasted” all over the windows!

I went downstairs with the Scottie boys and was surprised to find about five inches of snow on the ground! The boys were not too interested in lingering outside, so I grabbed firestarting stuff and we headed inside!  The house didn’t want to warm up as quickly as usual, as the wind continued with us throughout the entire day.

Mark and Ben ran to Canandaigua at about 3 this afternoon, and Mark said the roads were not that good! I shoveled about a foot of snow off the sidewalk in front of the garage as well as the porches and ramp.  Wow! Where did all that snow come from, anyway?

I took another photo of Ben’s snow house (remains) from the ramp.

I also was able to (barely) capture a couple of photos of my little Murphy.  We let him off lead and he raced around the yard like a greyhound!

As you can see, the low undercarriage caused a bit of overworking the “engine”, causing the pink tongue to hang out!

Mark was only gone about three hours, and when he came home, he said the truck was sliding a bit on the pavement.  The roads in Canandaigua were “messy”, but downright “dangerous” in our neck of the woods!

A ood night to pick up a good book and snuggle!

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Yesterday was Ben’s day!  He has been suffering with a miserable cold, so perhaps it was not quite the day he had hoped for.  I do think he had an okay birthday, though!

Michelle has a bowling class at the local bowling alley in Canandaigua.  She had arranged for four of Ben’s friends to meet us at Tom Wahl’s for a little birthday celebration.  Ben was totally clueless about it, so it worked out well.  He most definitely was surprised!

My last post on this blog showed us traveling by snowmobile through blizzard-like conditions.  Yesterday, the weather was so warm…the snow is greatly diminishing!  We are supposed to have warm weather today and tomorrow, with the temperature dropping into the more seasonable (freezing!) range on Saturday. This is that weather rollercoaster that is so frustrating this time of the year!

Last night when we got home from Ben’s birthday to do,  he got a call from Kyle, his nephew.  The two young men chatted quite a while and when I went to look for Ben, I found him stretched out in a chair on top of his ice house!

Yes, that is the moon over Ben’s shoulder!  I should have grabbed a tripod, but I wasn’t sure how long the guys were going to talk!  I do think that after today’s warm temps, Ben shall not be sitting on top of that house anymore! 

Happy 16th birthday, Ben!

Got Snow?

Mark had anticipated a Friday ride, but things just didn’t work out like we thought. So, yesterday morning, Ben got the sleds loaded onto the trailer early and we were off and running shortly after 9 am. Ben had told me that he and Mark discussed a ride and we would be heading out to Darien Lake to try out their trails.  As we drove along, I asked Mark about why we were heading towards Letchworth and Ben burst into laughter….argh!

We arrived at Letchworth Park and there must have been at least twenty vehicles with sled trailers already parked! I thought perhaps the ride might be a bit disappointing with so many people out, but I was in for a surprise.

Ben and Michelle worked together, uncovering the sleds and then taking them off the trailer.  They worked so fast and we soon were off. Michelle said she would ride at the end, as she had brought along some of her school work to keep her busy.

We drove along through the park…we park at the north end and then ride the length of the park to go out onto trails outside the park.  Last time we rode, we were so impressed by the trails of one club that Mark called and talked to the club president.  We sent money to buy a map from the club and found they do a lot of the trails.  We decided to try out a few.

When we left the park, we began traveling along through farm fields.  The snow that was falling became quite windblown and you can see it was getting a bit hard to see!

We headed toward the Village of Perry.

I don’t know as I have ever been so close to a water tower before!

The sun was truly making a gallant effort to poke through the falling snow, but…

This was when Mark stopped Ben and I and insisted we turn back. Ben and I balked, but Mark was insistent.  We needed to turn back.  Ben and I srugged our shoulders, and back we went…

Ben cleaned off the sign below…

It reads: Use of this trail is a privelege & not a right

The only really scary part of the journey to me was when we had to cross a road, but they were mostly secondary and completely snow covered.  Had a car been coming, we could see their lights! I was surprised at one point to actually see a car stop and motion a group of snowmobiles to cross!

This was a “pile of artwork” sitting mext to me as I stopped and looked to make sure a road was clear.  I guess it could be defined as a windblown snowbank!

We returned to the park and saw something strange…..

Yup. Blue skies! At this point, I had only had a piece of toast and a cup of tea for breakfast….I mentioned I was hungry.  Mark wanted to stop to check his map, so we pulled in to a lodgeparking lot at Letchworth.  There was a hill where they rented tubes and kids were sliding down the hill.  Suddenly, we smelled hotdogs and hamburgers cooking! Mark sent Ben over with some money…

As Mark and I waited, we discussed why snowmobilers often have tiny windshields! Ours are big and they were totally covered in droplets of ice!

As I have mentioned before, we don’t actually look through the windshields, so that is a good thing.

Mark got Ben, himself, and I these really cool bags that fit onto the handlebars of the sleds! They can hold a lot of stuff, including my camera and cell phone!  It is so much easier to grab my camera from the bag than to fish it out of my coat pocket!

Did you happen to notice the green buttons on the handlebars?  The one on the left is to warm the hand grips. The one on the right is to warm the throttle, so one’s right thumb stays warm.  These are so useful!  I cannot immagine how cold our hands would get without these warmers!

After our little snack, we went off once again.

We wound up near the railroad bridge near Lower Falls.  I walked down the road a bit as snowmobiles aren’t allowed in this area.  There is a trail that runs parallel to the road, but it was cordoned off.  I suppose that is in case there was ice on the trail….one slip and a person could end up tumbling down into the water…I could hear the falls below, but being so short, I was unable to see over the banks of snow.

And we learned something new about the railroad bridge…

Wow, that sign is old, being place there in 1935!

We rode outside the park a bit and instead of a blizzard, we actually saw some sun and blue skies!

As we drove north through the park,  it was a pretty ride!

We did see a number of folks riding as we were out on the trails, and everyone was so great!   When we encountered some narrow trails that were only a sled wide,  riders saw us on the other side and motioned for us to go ahead and cross first.  Everyone was using signals to let us know how many riders were in their group and when the last rider approached, they used the appropriate signal.  We were so impressed!  We hadn’t ridden on weekend days before as we thought it might be a mess!

Near the north end of the park, we came upon three seperate police officers riding the trails.  Yes, there are officers who check registration tags and make sure riders are riding safely on New York’s trails!

All in all, this was a great ride!

Precious Friendship

Since my friend Eunice is Amish, she doesn’t allow herself to be photographed.  She knows how much I love photography and I even gave her a photo of the tiny fawn I had found in the woods.  There was one moment during one of my visits when she looked so pretty with her sparkling white Kapp on her head and she leaned forward, bringing tiny baby Susanna up to her face.  At that time, Susanna didn’t weigh even four pounds, but her tiny face came almost nose to nose with her mama and her eyes focussed and studied Eunice. Oh, how I longed  to capture that moment, but it was not to be.  I would never ask Eunice to allow something she feels is wrong.

Having explained the above, I received a letter from Eunice last week.  I was so surprised, as we have not written to one another for awhile. We both knew she was going to be very busy with a new baby that had some catching up to do, as well as keeping up with a young man two years old! I do try to visit at least once a month….Eunice said in her letter to let her know when I am coming so she can have some snacks ready!

After finishing up her letter,  I turned it over, seeing something on the back.  Oh, how precious!!!

I guess if I cannot have a photo, a tracing of those little hands is really special! (Eunice was holding Baby Susanna on her arms, so her writing is a little hard to read)

Another Super Bowl…

Oh the excitement! I could hardly contain myself last night in a living room full of noisy kids and a television so loud,I was sure my hearing was going to be forever impaired!  In the midst of it all, I became so overcome with sleepiness, I drifted off for a few minutes.  Somehow, I have a terrible time watching such a slow moving game….

Yes, another Super Bowl and another party.  The snacks were pretty good.  It is fun talking to the kids, too.  So, would you like to see how my two creative kids prepared?  Okay, you needn’t twist my arm!

Michelle came up with a luscious confection.

And Ben built another one of his snow houses. This year, he really went to great heights! (literally!) This house is BIG and TALL!

Below are the details of the roof system…

What Lovely Weather for a Sled Ride!

As I said last night, we spent a few hours yesterday riding through Letchworth State Park and beyond!  It was so wonderful and I got some nice photos of Letchworth…

At the south end of the park, we decided to take a “trip”!

The trails of the Oatka Valley Snowmobile Club are fantastic!  The trail markers could not be any more explicit, and the grooming was out of this world! What a ride!

Now in the photo above, I had stopped to take Mark’s photo, and as I crossed the road, I noticed tire marks going across the road. Aha! No wonder the trails were so superb!

There were two fellows in the groomer and they looked like they were out enjoying the weather as much as we were! We passed them by and traveled on ungroomed trails that lead through many farm fields. They were awesome! We came to this crossroads and decided to go….where else?  Bliss!

Click on the photo below to see a HUGE wind farm! I don’t think I knew this existed, although we might have seen it in previous travels. There are lots of generators there!

After over 30 miles from where we began, we reached Bliss!

We only were there long enough to fill our gas tanks and then we were off again. It was getting a tad late in the afternoon and we didn’t have permits to ride Letchworth at night.  I sure would have to receive a citation for not having a sticker!

I don’t like taking photos of homes. I think it is kind of invasive, but!  This was a camper with a slideout that looked like someone lives in!  I was totally fascinated.  At the end of the camper was a large trailer for storage.  Outside that was a small wind generator with the fins going round and round!  I turned green with jealousy! I would love to live like that, but in a tiny house instead of a camper.  To be self-sufficient has been a dream of mine for a very long time.

Note the “big me” in the lower left hand corner of the above photo! hehehe

We got back to the truck shortly before 6:00 and Ben, Mark, and I were all so tired!  It takes a good half an hour to get the sleds on the trailer with their covers and fastening them on.  We stopped at McDonald’s for a quick bite and arrived home at nearly 9:00! 

What an awesome day this was to ride and we plan to revisit this area.  We have not seen such nice trails before and everyone was so friendly! 

Oh, and one aside….There are certain “signals” that are used on trails.  Usually, the front rider motions his hand up in the air, waving back and forth to signify more sleds following.  If the group is small,  the lead sledder might hold up fingers to say maybe “3” or “4” sleds following.   The riders in the center don’t need to use any signals, and the “last man out” is to raise his or her left fist in the air to signify such.

As Mark and Ben came down a rather steep slope,  I had stopped to take a photo at the top.  When I finished, I scrambled a bit to catch up. As I was reaching th bottom, there was a large area where Mark and Ben had stopped and were waiting for me. 

I came down off the slope just as what looked like five young men were going up the hill.  I raised my fist to signal I was “last man out” and to my total surprise, three of them leaned their sleds towrds mine and stretched their hands out to give me a “high five”!  The last guy tried to come close enough but just kind of waved. 

By the time I reached Mark and Ben, they were wide-eyed and laughing hysterically!  They had never seen anything quite like that before!  It was pretty awesome, and so far, everyone we talk to about sledding seems quite passionate about “their sport”!