Blogging

Happy New Year!

Are you getting the same feeling as I am….that last year seemed to fly away like the bird in the photo above?  It doesn’t feel possible that a whole new year has approached us and is lying ahead!

We went to the magical place yesterday to feed the brave birds that came to us.  Brave? Yes, brave!  There were wind chill alerts as an Arctic air mass swooped down upon us, bringing not only cold temperatures, but wind that cut like a knife!  We weren’t out very long, but came back with cheeks that were red as apples! The cold really wasn’t so bad, but when the wind blew, it was brutal!

I am having a really bad time with this blog lately.  When I try to post, it somehow scrambles my photos, making it impossible to properly format.  I tried to upload photos today and they all wound up at the top.  That is not where I wanted them.  So, I will just leave the one above of the fleeing Chickadee and hope there is some way I can fix this problem. The other photos were just more Chickadees, so I guess no one is missing much!

So, I am wishing you, Dear Reader,  a Happy, Healthy, and Wonderful New Year!

And What a Fun, Fantastic, and Amazing Day!

Yes, can you believe it?

After my post about yesterday, I just *had* to post about our most fun adventure on Saturday!  I had meant to post this first, but got ahead of myself!!! (yeah, I know…called “disorganization”!!!)

If you read my blog, you will see that my main commenter is Jeanne.  Jeanne and her husband live not so very far away from the Bristolwood, but they also have a wonderful cottage retreat on Lake Ontario! Jeanne has spent many a summer there and after our little visit there, I can certainly understand why she would ever be reluctant to return home.  It is a whole ‘nother world….

Jeanne and Ben invited us to come on up last Saturday. We got up and did some chores and were on our way. As we left here, it was chilly and damp and wet.  The skies were (greatly) overcast with nary a streak of blue in sight. As we drove along, I couldn’t help but wonder if we had made a mistake!  However….the forecast called for clouds in the morning, then becoming partly sunny.  The journey was a three hour jaunt, but we were so excited.

We drove along a rather well-traveled road that was only a short distance from the lake and as we progressed (this was the last 45 minutes or so of the trip there) the sun came out, puffy, fluffy, non-threatening clouds greeted us and accompanied us right up to the cottage. (Which was found seamlessly…thank you so much Google maps and GPS!)  The trip was so pretty and when I saw the cottage vista, I could not believe my eyes!!

Jeanne and Ben greeted us and then we went inside, as the air was still pretty chilly.  Later on, Jeanne took my on a little scenic tour. Oops…I am getting ahead of myself once again.  Out the picture window that overlooks the lake, one can get a view of an island!  From the view there, it looks like there is nothing there, but….

Jeanne and I went for a little ride in her car and I was surprised!

There is a bridge (all manmade) that leads to the island.

And once we were on the island, there was an amazing KOA Campground!  Wow!!! Can you imagine camping right along the shore of Lake Ontario….on an ISLAND? The campground is a gated community!  In order to enter, Jeanne went inside the office (where there is also a store) and had to give pertinent information “for insurance purposes”!

The campground is rather large and believe it or not, one can not only camp there, but they also have a marina!

Hmmm…..not too many boats in those slips! But, we were there after Memorial Day when many people traditionally put away all the summer pleasures and begin looking forward to the fall and winter months.

There were many campers there. The lady at the desk told Jeanne there was an event going on so it was busy.  There were campers of every shape and size.  The best sites were located on the lake.  I guess one can choose from sites with a glorious sunrise or glorious sunset.

I think it would be tough to decide between a sunrise or sunset!

We headed back off the island, but I took a shot at the harbor where Jeanne and Ben’s cottage is located. Look how beautiful everything looks!

Jeanne also took me for a ride around the area where she often drives her scooter.  As I said before, it is a whole different world and culture.  It was such a beautiful day and I really enjoyed the mini tour!  As we drove, we spotted a big bird sitting in a marshy area.  I took a photo of the bird, but I am not sure what its identity is.  It had a large bill, though.

We went back to the cottage and Mark and Ben were still talking at the table where we had left them.  Ben fired up the grill and made delicious sausages and chicken breasts for everyone.  He had also made a fabulous Mexican type dish with beans and corn that was so tasty along with potato salad.  Everything was so good!

After eating, Ben showed Mark some of his guitar equipment and Mark sent me to the car where he had tucked away his traveler guitar and amp, hoping the two of them might play. And play they did while Jeanne and I visited.

We talked on and on until Mark and I looked at the clock!  It was getting late and we had that three hour drive ahead of us! We had also taken Murphy along with us and he spent the day snoozing in the car! I would check on him from time to time, but he is pretty content just knowing we are nearby.  It was nice and cool and we left the windows down most of the day, so it was like being outside for the wee Scot!

I realize now that I never took a photo of our generous host and hostess!  I am so bad at taking people pictures!  But, I did get photos of their sweet little “babies”. They are Bichons and they are so adorable with their fluffy little poofy heads!

This is LadyBug.

And this is Chloe, sleeping away in her little stroller!

Thank you, Jeanne and Ben!  We had such a wonderful time visiting!  As we left, Ben advised us of the route he follows to go back home.  It was so cool as we passed nearby Adams, where we go snowmobiling in the winter!  Awesome. Awesome day. Awesome friends. Awesome visit!

I must add….I was about to publish this, when I thought I would comment further.  Mark is a trooper about driving and he seems to never tire!  When he felt like he was weary, he pulled over at one of the rest areas.  I had fallen sound asleep previously and didn’t even notice the stop!  When I awakened, I asked Mark where we were and we were only a short distance from home. mark pulled away and off we went once again.  As we traveled close to Canandaigua, we saw lights flashing ahead.  Two volunteer firemen were diverting traffic along another road.  When we drove down the road, I realized we were close to where Ben and Jeanne live!  One fireman had told us there had been a terrible accident ahead and thus the diversion.

We learned the following day a young man had gone through a stop sign on a small side road.  Another young man ran into his car, spinning it on the main road, where it was hit by yet another car. The young man who ran the stop sign was killed in the accident.  These things happen so sporadically…..one just never knows….

Back to Blogville

I have taken some time off from blogging.  One reason is the loss of a friend I met online and also because we have been so busy and I found myself quite stressed.

I thought to atone for my absence, I would give you a delicious and very easy recipe. That’s a pretty good deal, isn’t it? The recipe is for Chocolate Carrot Cake.

 

1 package Devil’s Food Cake mix

1 package chocolate pudding

4 oz. Cream cheese

1 cup milk

3 eggs

1 tsp. Cinnamon

3 cups grated carrot

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. (F) Place walnuts on small cookie sheet and bake in oven for 5 minutes. Remove to cool. ! Meanwhile, place  cake mix, pudding,  cream cheese, milk, eggs, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until blended, then turn to high speed for 2 minutes. Add carrot and mix until well-blended. Divide batter into two well-greased cake pans and bake about 30 minutes. Let cake cool in pans for 20 minutes, then remove.

For icing, the recipe calls for:

12 oz. Cream cheese

3/4 cup  butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 cups powdered sugar

*NOTE: I made the icing as given and it was  far too much. If you cut the recipe in half, it would probably be enough.

After placing cake on plate, spread some frosting on, then place the chopped walnuts on the frosting. Place the other layer on top and frost cake. Refrigerate until served.

This recipe is so easy because of the cake mix and pudding. The carrots add texture and moisture that is unbeatable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaDa!!! A *New* Feature!

If you look over to the right and perhaps scroll down a tad, you will see little thumbnails of photos.  These are the twelve most recent entries to my photo journal you have seen me write about here.  If you click on one of the photos, it will magically transport you to the journal and you can have a look at it! The only problem I can see is that the “webmeister” spelled “Blipfoto” incorrectly.  I will have to speak to him…….

Hope you take a look! It will be like getting TWO blogs for the price of one.   And, I will be back tomorrow.  Things have been hectic!!!!

Back to last week…

To the interesting cemetery that I found while on a little ride.  I was having some trouble resizing and saving the photos, then i had more trouble trying to upload them to the blog!  So, now that things are working well again, I wanted to show these photos of this very old cemetery.

As you look at the pictures, you can see that many of the headstones are leaning and falling down…and apart!

This particular stone I found to be very interesting!

Yes, in the midst of many others who left this life so soon, this woman lived 93 years! 

The next photo is very curious to me.  There is a section of headstones that are all set in this cement “foundation”! 

and, sadly, there sits a pile of broken bits and pieces off the headstones in a heap.

I suppose many of these “pioneers” lived so long ago, they and their memories are long forgotten.  This little cemetery situated near cornfields was such an interesting place to visit.  Truth was, I was no longing to linger.  It just seemed between the dreary weather and the isolated “feeling”,  I was ready to shoot and run!

Yikes!

It has been a few days since I last posted an entry to my blog.  It just seems like there is always so much going on lately and I get so tired by the day’s end!  I really will try to do better.

I cannot believe it is already December.  Does anyone know where this year went?  Time seems to be zipping right along, paying no heed to our desires for “just a little more time”! 

For years, I have had a desire to have a “Christmas cabin” deep in the woods.  Far enough away to not have to worry about electricity and such.  A place to escape from all the hoopla and just to spend time doing the simple things in life! I have to say that as much as I enjoy computer time,  I really enjoy doing things the old-fashioned way. 

When is the last time you wrote a grocery list?  Played a board game?  Lit candles and left the electric lights turned off?  Sat and read through the newspaper?  Read a magazine?  Opened a book and took a deep whiff of the smell of new book?  We have become so attached to our electronics,  it is hard to step backwards!

I guess one of the reasons I would love to have my little cabin to escape to is to gather my wits.  Sometimes it just seems like there is too much, too fast.  Information spreads like wildfire, and while that can be a good thing, it also puts stress on us. I know for a fact that when there is too much stress, I start having breathing issues.  That probably isn’t the only reason, but it certainly contributes.  What is wrong with doing things a bit more slowly and doing a thorough job? 

Okay, I will get off my soapbox for now.  I realize my dream is just that and perhaps will never be made real.  I guess that is okay, too.  I can always escape in my mind, after all!

Do you have any special dreams for Christmas?

And, life goes on…

Poor blog….it has been neglected once again!

There are several reasons.  Things like winterization.  Yes, campers and pools must be tucked in for the winter, like it or not!  (yeah, I NO like!!)  Ah well.  We also had a little problem called procrastination when it came to getting our firewood.  Oh, the firewood was cut lonnnnnggggg ago.  The problem is, it was stacked up and left sitting in the woods!  With the “autumnal monsoons”  season, we had to move a little more swiftly to get said firewood!

Thus, Mark drove the ATV with attached wagon in tow. He worked with the kids and they brought twenty wagonloads of wood down from the numerous piles.  It ended up looking like this….

That is about seven face cords of wood. We generally use about ten face cords, so we don’t need too much more, although we will end up filling the woodshed.  Mark thinks about twelve more loads will fill it up.  Since this photo was taken, two of the three rows of wood have been split and stacked in the woodshed.  We plan to try finishing this task this weekend.  The kids had the original twenty wagonloads down here and piled neatly in four hours so it shouldn’t take too long to fetch the wood. Splitting is the more time consuming task.  Mark is able to do it from the wheelchair and then we stack it.

Yesterday, I had so much energy after feeling off with some kind of “bug”.  I had suffered aches and a terrible headache, along with coughing.  Yesterday,  I accomplished all sorts of fun stuff.

Today, Ben and I worked on closing the pool. Finally!  I am so glad that task is done….I dislike closing the pool!

The weather was pretty ugly all day with dark skies and the threat of rain.  i spent hours and hours going over receipts and checking them off on credit card and bank statements.  This is one of those jobs that really makes me nuts.  I don’t like doing paperwork, but I do this so Mark doesn’t have to. The biggest problem is finding all the supporting paperwork. I get so frustrated when things aren’t where they are supposed to be.   Ah well.   I wound up filling a WalMart shopping bag full of discarded receipts.  By the time I got done, my eyes felt crossed and I was tired of looking at numbers!

As I am writing this tonight, the rain is absolutely pounding against the roof!  I am so glad we got that cover on the pool….with rain this heavy, I am sure many of our pretty leaves will be littering the ground…and pool cover!

And speaking of leaves….our Hickory tree in the back of the house is providing a gorgeous display of gold!  We had a tiny break early this afternoon and I was able to catch the leaves against a wonderful sky of blue!

So much to do….

My blog has been suffering from neglect, but it is a busy time of the year once again.

We have winterized the camper and it is tucked away for another winter, but the pool is still waiting and (believe it or not) the firewood is still waiting to come inside the garage. Yes, we are behind!  It seems like the Fall just kind of creeps up every year while we aren’t paying attention.  With the kids’ activities and all the running about for groceries and everything else, time seems to grow shorter and shorter!

Here is a photo of the view from the end of our driveway, looking down the hill.  As you can see, the trees have pretty much peaked.  I can’t believe the pile of leaves all over the driveway!  Oh, if only Autumn would last longer.  It arrives so covertly, then makes such a quick exit!  Just when the trees look their grandest, the rain and wind comes, blowing them all down to the ground.  Somehow, it just doesn’t seem fair at all!

I will have to try to do better with blogging, although I am not too sure how exciting life is right now!