Where Did this Week Go???

Well, I can give you a hint….

On Monday, we drove to Jamestown to pick up my parents. We then drove on to Erie, Pennslvania, where my father had an appointment at St. Vincent’s Hospital.  The appointment was to get his heart shocked!  Yikes!! Dad had expressed some anxiety when Mark and I spoke to him the week before, so we offered to take him and Mom to the hospital.  This was a relief for him, as he was concerned about Mom driving home in the dark if he had to stay overnight.  As it worked out, the procedure was done at about 12:30, and we walked out the door at about 3:00 with Dad.  It was an absolutely great day and we arrived back home around 9:00.  A long, but fun day!

Tuesday was spent in Rochester.  Running around and errands. Will errands ever end?  I think not.

Wednesday, Mark had a dental appointment.  I stayed home and then when he got back home, decided we needed to go to the grocery store as some bitter weather was headed our way! Actaully, more than bitter cold was coming….they predicted snow and some “dangerous” conditions.

Thursday, we were back in Rochester.  We are still trying to decide what to do with the Ford Explorer.  Mark has looked at every conceivable option, but feels we need just a little more time.  We stopped at Wendy’s on our way home to pick up a couple things and the rain was just pouring down by the buketsfull!  If that had been snow, we would have struggled badly to make it home!

Today, our bad weather finally arrived. With a vengeance.  The winds blew and howled like crazy all day.  It is quiet now…almost deafeningly so!  We became accustomed to the loudness all day, so now, our ears are straining to hear the noise that is no longer there!  I am glad we didn’t need to go out today. There are spots on the driveway where the snow is about eight inches deep, and others are nearly bare.  The wind certainly rearranged things!  Carly and I talked a little today and she said the roads were atrocious.   Since most road applications do little good in weather this cold, we opted to enjoy home today!

The Joys of Ownership!

hahaha….

Yeah. The new camera really is cool. It is tiny compared to my big D-SLR, and takes great photos.  Especially if one knows how to burrow down through the many, many layers of  adjustments!  Not being very intuitive  concerning things like computers and electronics, I find myself aimlessly pushing buttons and hoping for the best!  Mark, on the other hand, is very logical and can figure his way through a new *toy* quickly. Bah!

So, last night, while we were out and about, I saw a pretty church in Geneva and asked Mark to stop for a moment.  I hopped out of the truck and took a photo.  I looked at it right after taking it, and to my dismay,  I had changed the picture from “standard” to “monotone”.  Oh joy.

Definitely an “oops”!  BUT,  I was determined to figure out how to get the color back,  AND, I refused to humble myself to the point of asking Mark if he could help!  I got back in the truck and fumbled, er….”worked” my way through the menus and, lo, and behold…..color!

Yuppers, doesn’t *everyone* drive around with an invertor plugged into their vehicle so they can plug in their toys? ….er, electonic necessities?  (that is the eerie green light!)

Okay, so I have shown you some crummy photos taken with the Micro four-thirds.  How about a “good” photo taken a few days ago from the porch?

Don’t you love the colors?  I do, especially since we rarely see anything like this because of the trees and surrounding hills.

So, the bottom line is this…..along with those fun new devices comes the frustration of learning all about how they work!

Good NIGHT!

Sorry to yell, but this has been a very long day.

We left the house early this morning so Michelle could attend a five-hour mandatory driving class she needs before she can take her driver’s test for her license. She had to be at the class at eight, so we left at about 7:15.  While Michelle was at her class, Mark, Ben, and I just kind of hung out and went to the mall and BJ’s.

We picked up some Chinese takeout from a restaurant near where Michelle’s class was, just before we picked her up.  That particular restaurant has a good luncheon deal.

Afterwards, it was on to Penn Yan.  The kids have a friend who lives there who will be returning to college soon, so they wanted to spend some time together.  Mark and I dropped the kids off, then drove on up to Geneva. We just hung out there, watching a documentary and a movie.  We drove back to pick the kids up at 7:30.

As you can see, this was a long day in the truck!  Even Murphy is stretched out, eyes closed, and dreaming doggie dreams!

And so, I shall close this and take my leave…..to slumberland!

We’re Still Hanging in there.

And when times get tough, I bake cookies!  Yup.  Instead of making dinner late this afternoon, I somehow “short-circuited” and made cookies instead.  Now, you know things have been looking a bit dismal.  Yeah.  Well, I got out the cookbook and hand mixed a batch of Spritz cookies. 

I love Spritz.  I love them with frosting lavished on them with little sprinkles.  Mmmm…..actually, I am just a cookie monster, liking most varieties!  So….I got out my handy-dandy cookie press….placed some dough inside the cylinder…..put the press together…..pulled the trigger…..POW!!!  The cookie press broke. Imploded. I had to pick tiny bits of black plastic out of the dough. 

Thinking fast on my feet, I decided to convert my pressed creations (by the way, the press broke on the very FIRST cookie!) into Thumbprint cookies.  I rolled dough into delicate tiny balls, then placed my thumb into the center.  After all the cookies were on sheets for baking, I placed a bit of blueberry jam in each center.  Oh my!  The cookies were very good.

Don’t believe me?

Ask Murphy!

He climbed up on my chair when I left the room to place the first sheet in the oven.  He decided perhaps he needed to get a little more “personal” with my goodies!

Mark was sitting there next to Murphy, giving him tiny little pieces of cookie! 

As far as the Explorer goes, Mark is waiting on calls for several options.  In the end, it is likely we won’t get much for the vehicle.  I’m okay with that….We had hoped for a nice return to help pay for the new Subaru, but…..

Ah well!

Hanging in there.

Today was a nail-biter.

We are in need of a new washing machine, but perhaps that will be put on hold for just a little while longer. Yesterday’s entry explained how the transmission fluid from the Explorer ended up in a puddle at the end of the driveway. Well, the Ford garage said that we need a (deep gasp) new transmission.  The price?  Well, without any negotiating, $3,500.00.

We just don’t have that much money. I am flabberghasted and feeling a bit on edge…..

Mark spent most of today on the phone, calling every transmission specialist he could find nearby. He spoke to the Ford garage last today and they might have a less costly solution. We will know tomorrow.  This one will be more along the lines of maybe $1,500.00?  Which we still do not have.

Argh.

Excuse me….

while I cry my eyes out!

Yeah, I am being totally wimpy today and I just feel so overwhelmed!

I had no idea that the weather was going to take a one-eighty degree turn. While it has been so warm and unusual here lately, it very suddenly turned FRIGID.  No, not even cold. Beyond cold. Frigid!  As in, Arctic cold!  Now, I don’t mind cold weather at all, but shouldn’t the transition be a little longer than a day?

All right. No more bellyaching. 

I shoveled the ramp and knocked the four or five inches of snow off all three vehicles.  I got the Explorer all uncovered and part of the truck.  Then I went in the house to get something ready for dinner tonight. I had thawed a roast, so decided to make just the perfect meal for a bitter cold day…..Hearty Beef Stew, from my book, Slow Cooker Revolution.

Ben and I worked on finishing getting the vehicles cleared and then came inside. The temperature remained well below freezing all day.  I am housesitting so I went to check the house. I decided to take the Explorer. Ben was going with me. We stopped at the end of the driveway so I could grab our mail.  I shifted into drive to go on up the road, but the car refused to move.  Ben hopped out and told me to stop the car right away…..transmission fluid was leaking everywhere!  As we walked up the driveway, there was a streak of fluid all the way. Apparently, a piece of metal broke in the driveway and the gasket fell off.

Mark ended up calling AAA and they sent a flatbed to grab the car.  It was so cold….there is always, always a brisk breeze at the end of the driveway. The operator loaded fast and took the Explorer away. What a pain that was!

Ben and I checked the house I am housesitting and then we came home.  By this time, it was getting near dinner time. I made up a batch of dumplings and put them on top of the stew.  As it worked out, ev eryone loved the stew and it really was the perfect dish for this cold day!

I finally warmed up by taking a hot bath.  I had spent so much time outside today and I felt like I was never going to warm up again! Tomorrow, it is supposed to be warmer….I sure hope it is.  We have so many little tasks that still need attended to.  Mark and the kids just finished putting up the final boards on the new ramp yesterday. The kids were so glad they did it then, instead of today!

So, I will leave you with a couple of birdie photos I took today.

So…tomorrow will be a better day!

Out with the Old, in with the New!

So much has happened since my last post here…we have covered lots of ground. We did lots of running around here and there, mainly because of Christmas shopping and visiting!  So, I won’t bother to comment on what has been, but what we are doing presently.

One project that I do want to comment on is the new ramp that Ben nearly single-handedly built behind the house!  With Mark’s help and instruction, Ben not only built a wooden ramp which is longer than the old temporary one, but he also mixed and poured twenty-two bags of cement to form a beautiful sidewalk at the end of the ramp!

I honestly think a better job could not have been done.  Ben is very shy about me sharing about this project, but to see him mix one eighty pound bag of mix after another, then pour it and begin again was incredible!  I think most men would have been slowing down after ten bags, but Ben just kept right on going!

Our weather has been very strange this winter. While the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted a colder and snowier winter than usual, we have had precious little snow and the temperatures have been mild.  We are supposed to be getting some snow over the next few days and I will welcome it!  The warmer temperatures we have had, along with the rain, have made me feel so chilly!  Better freezing temperatures with snow than warmer temperatures with rain and drizzle!  The dampness seems to get into one’s bones!

We are missing riding the snowmobiles this year.  Last year, we were able to have had several outings by this time, but with no snow, it has been impossible.  There was some snow up on Tug Hill, but Mark read accounts where the warm temps made nasty riding conditions with puddles. Yuck!

I have been in cleaning mode the past couple of weeks, wanting to thin out stuff we don’t want/need.  It is crazy how stuff piles up on us while we aren’t paying attention!  Michelle has been feeling the need to discard old junk as well.  We need to make a trip to one of the Salvation Army Stores soon!  I think this is the closest I come to making a New Year’s resolution.  I have just become restless looking at all the stuff that has been building up over the years.  We even have things from Mark’s dad who passed away seven years ago this month!

How about you?  Have you made any resolutions?  Do you usually stick with them, or do they fall be the wayside?

Happy New Year!

Yes, I am back after a little “vacation” of sorts.  I was getting a little overwhelmed by obligations and situations and just needed a little time off!  So, I guess my New Year’s might include a resolution to do a little better with the blog.

It is so late (2:17 AM) and the kids had friends over for a little get-together.  The friends left a little after 1 AM, so I am zonked!!

May your new year be filled with blessings from above,  may you find peace, love, happiness, and most of all, security in who you are!