A rather uneventful day

Thank you, Lord, for uneventful days!  Sometimes we just need a little break from hustling and bustling about!

Mark and Michelle worked once again on the Explorer.. .this time, on replacing the rear brakes.  The front brakes are done! They were doing well until a stripped bolt on one of the calipers stopped them dead in their tracks.  Drat!  Mark came in the house and got online to discover there is a specific tool made for extracting bolts, so he and Ben ran to Canandaigua this evening to buy it.  Yay! I think…

This morning, we were discussing some work that needs to be done on the Explorer.  Mark said that it is pretty complicated and involves removing a lot of parts as well as needing special tools.  We got online to see if there were any auto shops nearby that might be able to do the repairs.  As we were looking,  we came across a place not too far away. As I thought about it, I told Mark the fellow is the son of one of my customers!

Mark gave the garage a call and we were both pleasantly surprised to find this guy not only knows his stuff, but is fair about his pricing as well.  He told us he even goes to Ford School to learn the latest on Ford products.  Mark is hoping to finish the rear brakes tomorrow so we can get the Explorer to this mechanic!  What a find!

I took very few photos today, but I discovered a Dragonfly I don’t think I have seen here before!

Man, what a challenge it was trying to get this guy’s photo! The wind was blowing all day…leaves were falling from the trees and if they weren’t so green,  it would have been a perfect October day! I love brisk days like this and I fully enjoyed it!

Remember the tiny butterfly I saw in the grass yesterday?  Well if this isn’t the same butterfly,  maybe it is a sibling!

While that dragonfly was hard to photograph, this little fellow was really tricky!  The little fellow is so tiny and the leaves were bouncing up and down…up and down!  The wee little guy looked like he was surfing on the ocean!  Add to that the fact that I had mounted my telephoto lens that weighs about three pounds to capture these macro shots and I was having some fun out there!

One more…remember I mentioned all the honeybees working on the daisies at WalMart the other day? 

This afternoon, I saw so many honeybees working away on the daisies that grow wild here in the Bristolwood. 

Time to call it a day…uneventful or not,  I am tired!

How about a potpourri of pictures?

Talk about potpourri! These photos make no sense at all…they look as though they are just thrown together, but I will explain!

The first two were taken in Penn Yan.

This old truck was in a parking lot with a few other old cars and trucks.  It is “so” old, the tires are mounted on wooden spoked rims!

This photo was taken near the boat launch. I loved the buildings and sky reflected on the smooth as glass surface of the water!

Remember the goat in the chair?  As we were hurrying to get Ben to Urgent Care,  guess who was “lounging”?  Yup…

Wish I would have had the Nikon with the telephoto lens and also that I wasn’t hurrying! As it was, as we pulled over to photograph the old goat,  a young man was also stopped, snapping pictures!  I hurried and as I tried to jump a small ditch, I landed with my flip flop in mud which oozed up between my toes…great way to arrive at the Urgent Care center…looking like a dirty hillbilly!

This bee was really trying my patience this morning!  I had to rescue it not once, but twice from the swimming pool! The second time,  I placed it far away from the pool and it didn’t try to go back!

Michelle and I cleaned the pool today, replaced some chlorine, and backwashed the filter.  After we finished, Michelle went out to the garage to help Mark replace the front brakes on the Explorer.  While they worked in the garage, I made Michelle a  dress.  A friend had posted on Facebook about a blog showing how to make a cute sundress out of a tank top and two yards of fabric.  I had bought the things to make it a while back, but finally found some time to sit down to work on it this morning.  The whole thing probably took about forty-five minutes to make!

Our forecast was for rain today, but it held off.  After finishing my sewing,  I went out to see what kind of subjects I might find. I was getting concerned as it seems I have hardly seen any butterflies this year.  As I looked around, though, I saw a few varieties.

I also saw this little grasshopper sitting on a Calendula plant!

This butterfly is called a Little Woods Satyr.  It was so friendly, allowing me to close in for a photo shoot!

This butterfly was TINY!  I wasn’t able to find out what it is, but you can see by comparing it to grass blades, it is very small!

Mark and I had to go to the dentist today.  I was thrilled to hear the dentist say that in one month, I will have impressions made and then the new crown will be made!  The temporary crown is fine, but it will be nice to bring closure to this (mis) adventure!

On the way home, we stopped briefly in Woodville.  We had a cloudburst that lasted maybe fifteen minutes. Although it was short, it produced some pretty hefty results…and made for some nice photos…

While in Woodville, I was able to find two different varieties of Dragonflies!

When I told Mark the lawn with the cactus plants growing in it had flowers, he pulled off the road in front of a house. Quick! Take the photos and let’s get on home!

I still find it hard to believe that cactus can grow in our cold winter climate…and these plants are right next to the road, meaning they get a hefty, healthy (UN, really!) heaping of salt every winter as the plow passes by!

Well there. That does it.

I know I promised

to post some more pictures yesterday, but oh my, what a day!

The photo above is one I took walking along the boat lauch in Penn Yan and if you click to enlarge it,  it really is a cool picture…it looks dreamy…surreal! It was taken late in the day.  Which reminds me…

As I was walking to the place where I took this photo,  I passed a Mennonite man and woman sitting in folding chairs.  They looked like they were relaxing as their kids (I think there were maybe four youngsters) were fishing!  There were two or three nice looking tackle boxes sitting by the parents..the tops were open and they looked like they were full of all sorts of fishing goodies!  The mom gave me a great big friendly “Hi!” as I passed by.  What a great way to spend a Sunday summer evening!  The kids were so excited and as I walked away, one of the boys came with his pole to show Mom and Dad the “sunny” he caught! Wish I would have taken some photos of this family.  I know they would have given me permission, too, as Mom had her camera sitting in her lap!

Yesterday was quite a contrast to a relaxing Sunday, believe me! 

Ben woke up and asked if we would take him to the doctor.  His ear was so sore, he said it was beginning to hurt to eat.  Well, taking a child to the doctor is usually no problem,  but Mark’s insurance just changed….and not for the better, I can assure you!  Mark called the insurance company, trying to decipher how the new insurance will work.  After that call, he needed to talk to the (separate! ARGH!!!)  company that covers prescriptions.

Mark called Ben’s regular doctor…the pediatrician he has seen since birth.  Well, they could get Ben in at 4:15, but Ben was hurting, so we hoped to find something sooner.  Mark made a few calls, thinking perhaps we could find a doctor in Canandaigua.  The pediatrician is near Rochester which is about 40 miles from our house.  Finally, someone Mark called suggested we take Ben to Urgent Care.  Mark called the center and they said it was really quiet…if we came quickly, it might be only a 45 minute wait.  We usually end up waiting half an hour or so at the pediatrician, so we decided to try this instead.

As we drove to Urgent Care, Ben said he could hardly even hear out of the ear that hurt.  We got there and sat down.  They took Mark’s insurance information and in ten minutes!!!!!, Ben was called in.  He actually saw a physician’s assistant who said he has something similar to swimmer’s ear.  The ear drum looked good…the canal was swollen. He was given antibiotic drops as well as a steroid/anesthetic drop to use.  I think Ben felt better after hearing this was a pretty common thing.

We then went to WalMart’s pharmacy to get the prescription filled. Yikes! Ben felt so bad, he stayed in the truck, waiting. (and sleeping)  It was 82 degrees and I worried about him in the heat!  It took nearly an hour before the presciption was filled.  We finally were on our way back home.  This little adventure had us gone for about three and a half hours….if we had gone to Rochester, I cannot imagine how long that would have taken!

When we got home, we found out that the router for our computers died!  Mark talked to a guy at Time Warner because somehow that service got goofed up.  The guy told Mark we were fortunate to have gotten four or five years of service from our router since they usually only last about two or three years!

So…this post comes to you through the cell phone used as an incredibly SLOW modem!  To upload the photo above “only” took about five minutes!!!

As soon as we pick up a new router,  I will post some more photos.  We have a dentist appointment this afternoon, so I don’t imagine we will be up and running again until this evening! Ah, the technological blues….

A clue that leads to the perfect photo op!

As Mark and I were taking the kids to a graduation party today in Penn Yan, I spotted something that caught my attention.

Yes, bicycles! From the fancy bags and the bikes themselves, I knew there was a photo op for some Mennonite kids fishing near the outlet.

We dropped the kids off and I asked Mark to turn around so I could take some photos.  Well, he has learned I really need to be taking photos to be happy, so he turned the truck around and we were off!

The big surprise for me was that the bikes did not belong to Mennonite boys.  No sir.  Instead, they belonged to some pretty young ladies! Mark parked the truck in a lot across from the girls and I was able to get a few photos.

The girls moved from this area and I figured they had gone.  But a short time later, I saw them on a small bridge.

This is my very favorite photo of the day…I cropped it a bit for my post on the photo a day journal.  These girls just looked so sweet and innocent.

Feeling pretty satisfied with the photos I got of these young ladies,  Mark and I took a ride to Geneva, then back to Penn Yan.  We decided to try a road we hadn’t explored before…it leads to a boat launch.  It was so beautiful there!  I will post a couple of photos I took there with the little Canon camera tomorrow.

It is now after midnight and we didn’t arrive home until almost eleven o’clock.  Time to call it a day!

Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

In looking around on the web for a new chicken dish,  I came across a recipe for stffed chicken breasts.  WHY have I not made these before?  Oh my goodness! They are so easy to make and everyone ranted and raved about how deliecious they tasted.  Mark said they taste a lot like a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.  The good thing, though, is that they are not made with lots of bread crumbs!

The first thing you need to do is take the breast in your hand and slice it about midway through…make a slice from about  one inch from the top to one inch from the bottom.  Just be careful to try to stay in the middle of the thickness of the breast so the stuffing doesn’t all fall out.

I made my recipe a little different than the one I found.  Here is what I used.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

STUFFING:

1/2 apple diced into small pieces (the Scotties enjoyed the other half!)

2 Tablespoons Cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons Italian flavored bread crumbs

1 teaspoon granulated onion (I cannot even begin making stuffing without onion!)

2 Tablespoons grated carrot

2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped

Mix the stuffing ingredients together until well mixed.  Drop stuffing mix into “pockets” in chicken breasts, tapping to make sure the mix fills the cavity.  Once cavity is full, use toothpicks to seal the pocket together.

In a large skillet or small roasting pan, heat one Tablespoon of olive oil.  Carefully add the chicken breasts and cook on medium flame until breasts are nicely browned.  Remove the breasts from the pan and add 1/2 cup white cooking wine and 1/2 cup water. Heat and stir to mix in the juices and pieces from browning the chicken. Add 1 teaspoon chicken base (or buillion) and continue stirring until everything is all liquid.  Mix 1 Tablespoon cornstarch in water and add to the liquid in pan, stirring constantly.  Once the mix thickens,  place the chicken back into pan and place in oven @350 F. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and baste breasts with sauce.

The next time I make this, I think I will try to line the “pockets” with some baby spinach to add a little bit more color and flavor.  Mark commented that the gravy didn’t have any fat..it was rich tasting, but not fatty at all.  I made some steamed Italian style veggies and macaroni salad to go along with the chicken.  I think mashed potatoes would be great, too, but I just didn’t feel like making them today. 

If you try this, let me know what you think….it is low calorie and oh, so TASTY!

What? Are the ducks complaining…

about the rain? Hmmm…Well, I think they might have actually been enjoying it this evening.

We had some banking to do in Canandaigua, so when the kids said they wanted to meet some of their friends there, Mark said sure.  We were off and on our way.  I guess it didn’t matter when the rain came…the kids met their friends and didn’t mind. 

While the kids were playing baseball,  Mark, the Scottie boys, and I did our errands. First stop…the bank.  Now, Angus is a pretty smart little fellow.  Show him something a time or two, and, by golly, he has figured things out. So, when we pulled into the drive up teller, Angus hopped up on Mark’s lap to “present” himself to the teller.  Since we were not at the teller’s window, Angus knew he needed to hop up so the girl would see him.

Just as sure as sure can be, Murphy sensed Angus’ excitement and he popped up in the rear window.  Of course, two Scottie Dogs with their heads hanging out the windows of a vehicle would be very hard to miss seeing! The spot where we pulled in has one of those air operated tubes that one places their banking inside a little container and the air sucks it up and then returns it when the teller is done.  Angus. knows. this.

Mark said he is pretty sure Angus doesn’t understand the logistics of banking, but he is sure the lad knows where cookies come from!  Sure enough,  the air noise began, and Angus grew tense with anticipation. As the little container made its way to our truck, Angus watched it, then impatiently waited for Mark to open it up. 

Angus stares down at the wonderful cookie machine!

Eureka!  Angus and Murphy both began dancing with delight as the scent of the treat permeated the truck’s interior…

After the exciting trip to the bank, we went to a couple of stores. Afterwards, I was hungry for an ice cream cone! Mark drove over to Abbott’s and then we pulled around to the back of the store while I ate. 

Over to our right, there was a huge pond puddle behind Denny’s Restaurant.  We watched as several ducks romped about, swimming in the water.  There were two pairs of  Mallard adults and eight ducklings that were probably about three-fourths the size of the adults….teens, I suppose!

As soon as I finished eating my cone,  I hopped out (into the rain, no less!) of the truck and grabbed my little bucket of cracked corn. Walking over toward the flock,  I was thinking they might just disperse.  I stopped a good distance away and pried the lid off the top of the bucket.  Grabbing a handful of corn,  I pitched it out in front of me, and the little waterfowl rushed toward me with wreckless abandon,  as though they had not been fed in ages!

Those ducklings sure were cute and even ate right out of my hand.  I fed them a lot of corn, then went and sat with Mark in the pickup.  The ducklings grazed and ate, then headed to yet another puddle where they dipped up and down in the water, splashing their little bodies and preening themselves.  It was so delightful to see.  Mama Duck stayed right with her children and would peck at any other ducks that wandered too near her “chidlren”. Within a few minutes, the whole brood was once again grazing where I had fed them….then back to the puddle to clean up!

Mark and I came to the conclusion these ducks were far from complaining about the weather…Instead, they were loving every minute of it!

I thought I would show you a couple more photos….

I love this new "face" that just showed up this morning!

Feeling better sure feels better!

if that makes any sense?  Seriously, it is so nice to feel like I can hold my head upright without it falling over!

Yesterday I felt so good when I got up.  Mark and I did some things around the house and then Michelle went outside to help Mark with the Explorer.  I have renamed her our “Tinkerbelle Mechanic”.  She was sliding around under the Explorer like a grease monkey…using wrenches and the like….scooting around on a mechanic’s cart!   Hard to believe such a great student enjoys tinkering with exhaust systems!  But then again, perhaps she is such a great student because she enjoys learning….even if it is about exhaust systems!

Michelle worked on removing the muffler until she came to an impasse.  She and Mark came in to eat some lunch, then she went back out with Ben to cut off a piece of pipe.  Mark and I got ready to go out to buy some more “pieces to the puzzle”, or, parts for the exhaust system.  Mark and I went out to the garage and Michelle yelled, “Oh NO! The WRONG pipe!”. Then silly giggling followed!

Mark and I picked up some parts that he had ordered from Advance Auto in Canandaigua, then we went to Geneva to shop at BJ’s.  One of the key pieces we needed for the muffler replacement was not available anywhere in Canandaigua and Mark was a little upset, as it needed to be ordered from the Ford garage for $30.  Well, just for the fun of it, he called Cole Muffler in Geneva, wondering if they might just have the part. They do replace mufflers, after all. 

Mark spoke with the manager of Cole’s and he said they did have the part in stock!  After BJ’s we drove to the store and picked up the part.  The manager was so wonderful…he even came out and put the pieces together to show Mark how they went. Wow, what service!  And, the part was $15.

Mark and I went to a few more stores and in all honesty, I was surprised I was able to lift the wheelchair in and out of the truck!  We didn’t arrive back home until nearly eight o’clock and I must admit, I headed upstairs and fell down on the bed! I was pretty tired..

I got some cool photos today while walking around the yard with Murphy.  Murphy is such a funny Scottie…although he gets very excited when Angus gets the scent of a squirrel or chipmunk,  when we are out alone, Murphy could care less about things like hunting.  He is my little companion who pretty much stays close to my side.

Here is the little fellow running toward me. What? You cannot tell he is running?  Sheesh! If you had four inch long legs, perhaps you wouldn’t look like you were running, either!  (smile)  Actually, if you look closely, you can see his beard is kind of off to the sides, indicating motion!

Here is a Calendula flower that just opened today….it is orange and soooo pretty!

In the wildflower department, the Fleabane is making an appearance.  Boy, I just love the delicate Daisylike look of this flower!

Look what we found!  So pretty!

Oh my….here is one not too many will want to see…

One lonely autumn oak leaf lying in the grass.  A quiet day today and just taking it easy. We had dark skies this morning, but now the sun is shining and it is beautiful!

The mighty Calendula!

A  few years ago,  I bought some packets of seeds for Calendula, or Pot Marigolds.  I never ended up planing them, but gave some seeds to my dad.  He planted them and WOW!  The plants not only grew prolifically, but they multiplied. And multiplied. And multiplied!

The last time we visited with my parents,  I told my dad we didn’t have any Calendulas reseed themselves from last year.  It was early spring and my father had those flowers coming up by what seemed millions! 

Well, I lied.

Apparently,  my Calendulas are slower in “awakening” than those of my parents! About two weeks ago,  I suddenly had a “Calendula FOREST” spring forth!  Thus, this flower is for my mom and dad! (with many, many more to come!)

Happy Summer!

Well, today was the longest day of this year and for the first time in a few days,  I actually stayed awake the entire day!  I have been battling a bug that didn’t knock me off my feet, but was rather annoying!  It felt like I had a head cold with some sneezing, but more than that,  I was exhausted.  Thankfully, I never suffered through the blazing sore throat the kids had before…I have not had a sore throat since I was pregnant with Ben.

So…I did some laundry, washed dishes and put them away, and also grilled chicken outside today.  I made Broccoli Cheese casserole to go along with the chicken as well as some asparagus.  One of the frustrating parts about feeling sick but not appearing sick is that everyone kept forgetting I was sick! 

I was going to put some photos I took today of the kids in the pool, but it seems like someone snatched my camera and didn’t return it to me.  Hmmm… So, I will post a couple of photos I took a while back….

The day I took these, it was windy and as I looked through the pictures I took, I could see how the wind was blowing the daisy and butterfly back and forth!

Early this evening, I had a customer stop by with her daughter-in-law.  Verna has been a customer for quite some time and I found out she is now eighty-five years old.  It was good to see her, as she has not been by for a long time.  She is now legally blind, but still makes soap.  She said she must use magnifying glasses to see anything, but she is able to see when using them. What a remarkable woman she is.  Her family all lives nearby…not too far from her home, so they are able to help her out.

I had called Verna earlier to give her a total for her order, and we chatted for probably a good forty-five minutes.  I found out that when a lot of dogs died from the problem with mold in the corn in their food (I think that was correct?) a few years ago, she lost her dog, Foxy, the Fox Terrier.  I felt so bad when she told me and then we talked about dogs and she said she would ask her daughter-in-law to bring along her miniature Dachshund, Tasha.

When the ladies arrived, Verna was anxious for me to see Tasha….she was adorable!  My parents have a black and tan (why do they call it tan anyway, they are red!) long-haired Dachsy, but Tasha is short-haired!  She was so cute.  Jerry (the DIL) told Tasha to “spin and roll over” and the obedient little pup spun in a circle, then rolled right over!  What a good little girl! Verna said when her family goes away for vacations, she watches the dogs and enjoys their company.

Speaking of dogs…I shared this on Facebook, but I’ll do it here as well. 

I know my little boys love a cold treat on a hot day.  When we eat ice cream, they both look longingly at our cold treats! So, I make the Scotties their own treats!  I mix together plain yogurt and about an equal amount of pumpkin.  I had bought some pie pumpkins last year…I baked them, then scraped the insides and froze the pumpkin in the freezer.  I had measured the pumpkin in one cup increments in a sandwich bag, then dropped them into a gallon freezer bag.  Of course, canned pumpkin works too!

Place the mix into an ice cube tray…I had found some little trays that were silicone and the cubes are heart-shaped.  These are nice for the pups because they aren’t real big and hard to bite into.

As an aside, pumpkin is fantastic for the canine digestive system!

My last photo was taken when it rained…this was last week.

Not such a great quality photo, but the little hummer had come to sit on the feeder under the roof overhang, while it rained!