Family

Remembering…

Dad and Fritzi

Yesterday, we made the journey to Jamestown for a memorial service for my dad. A sad occasion but we also had to be concerned about the lake effect snow warnings that flashed on signs as we made our way along I86. There were threats of up to 8 inches of snow likely to fall but we figured if the weather got as bad as predicted, we would just stay overnight.

We wound up traveling several  miles behind a strange getup…it was a snowplow with a “trailer” that was pulled behind that could actually be swung out to the plow’s right side and take up the entire two lanes of traffic, plowing and spreading whatever blend of magical potient that removed the snow from the highway’s surface. This contraption slowed us down a good ten minutes and made me fret we would enter the service late.  Thankfully, the trailer slowly backed off from the plow and pulled in behind it, allowing traffic to regain speed.

We arrived at the church with a few minutes to spare, enabling us to exchange a few hugs and words of condolence from cousins we had not seen since the last funeral.  Sad, but true…

The service went well…the pastor was so wonderful! Carly’s girls, Sarah and Erin, sang Amazing Grace, a’cappella and in harmony, perfectly! I wish I would have videotaped it….I read a tribute I had written the day Dad passed. I had felt the inkling to write it before he passed. Perhaps an unction from the Lord to do this.

For those who couldn’t be there, here is the content.

My name is Kae Manelick Catalano and I am Harry’s favorite daughter. Oh, I am Harry’s only daughter.

I think most all of us have heard the words of Ecclesiasties, chapter 3.

To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Futter we read A time to weep and a time to laugh: a time to mourn and a time to dance. And verses 12 and 13 say I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.

My father,  Harry, did indeed enjoy the good of all his labor. He was a man who worked hard all his life. He was a man who deeply loved his family….if we ever needed help, he was always there. Dad loved working with his hands and always had a building project, or so it seemed. Although he wasn’t especially fond of farming, I remember the large gardens he planted in Youngsville and every spring he began working flowerbeds around the house that always produced abundant blossoms. He loved nature and his backyard was a sanctuary for birds… he was excited when tiny hummingbirds would return to his feeder each spring.

One of the most outstanding characteristics about Harry, though, was how I would best describe him. Harry was a man of integrity. He was honest, straightforward,and if he said he was going to do something, he always followed through.  These traits were not only evident to us, his family, but others saw them as well. As such, his employer,  MRC/SKF, requested that he serve as a loan officer at the credit union. He felt honored and accepted the position, spending lunchtimes meeting with the other officers. He was proud of Mom when she completed college and became a registered nurse and he supported us kids in our pursuits. He was a man of integrity.

I believe my dad’s parting words would be accept Jesus, follow God’s commandments, love your family, love your neighbor, and enjoy the good of your labor,  for it is the gift of God.

After the service, a luncheon was served in the parlour. It was wonderful talking to relatives and hearing stories about Dad.

We began heading home at about 3 and happily traveled dry roads. The dreaded snow never fell and we grateful for a wonderful day, remembering a terrific man.

Another picnic and choices….

This could easily become a habit!  One of my favorite things to do is to go on picnics! It is so much fun being outside and as my mom has always said, food *always* tastes better outside!

Michelle and her fiance, Jacob, want to have a wedding next May.  Michelle wants to be married in the spring, and she was thinking the weather might cooperate by the end of May. They also have agreed that they don’t want a typical church wedding.  Since they both love the outdoors, they have decided an outdoor wedding would suit them well. Of course, the problem that arises is where such a wedding can take place.  There are venues such as Sonnenberg Gardens State Park in Canandaigua, but it comes with a hefty price tag.  Also, Michelle and Jacob are thinking a more rustic setting is what they would like.

So….yesterday, Mark, Michelle, and I (Ben was working) set off for Letchworth State Park in Mount Morris. We met up with Jacob, his parents, and his two younger sisters to explore the various pavilions that Michelle and Jacob had scoped out previously.

012

This was the first (and only enclosed) pavilion we looked at.  It is quite pretty. And here is the opposite end…

013

Since weather can be somewhat unpredictable in May, this might be a good venue as it is enclosed.

016

Michelle and Jacob really like this field as a choice as well. They were thinking that they could rent a party tent and set it up here.  This is a beautiful setting and there is lots of parking nearby as well.

021

This pavilion was yet another choice.  The problem here would be if it was rainy or chilly, it would present problems. 

As we discussed the various areas, we saw why they liked the park.  I only wish it was closer. It might be a bit challenging moving all the necessities there as well as food and decorations. 

There are places closer to home that are nice, but there are issues of restrooms, parking, and size that present problems.  Thankfully, Jacob’s dad is a minister, so he can do a wedding wherever they decide!

We stopped along the way and had a wonderful little picnic. It was a beautiful day and there really weren’t very many people in the park!  It was so enjoyable.  Our picnic table reminded me of the Flintstones!

032

We got home a little after nine-thirty and I think we all slept well! We did get some exercise, hiking about to look at the various buildings!

Balloons over Letchworth!

Sunday was a rather remarkable day. I had discovered that hot air balloons would be launching at Letchworth Park over a period of a few days during the Memorial Day weekend. I love hot air balloons and I especially like photographing them!

I spoke to Carly on Saturday and asked if she and her family would like to go, too. They did! Since the balloons were launching at 6:30 pm, and Carly wasn’t available to go until afternoon, we made plans for an impromptu picnic.  We had grilled chicken breasts, a broccoli salad, and a lemon meringue pie.

pie

That doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but I think we all were full at the end of our picnic!  Oh, we also did something different….we ate at one of those stone tables!  It reminded me of something from the Flintstones!  It was wonderful, though, as we had a scenic view of the gorge.

After our picnic, we headed off for the balloon launch. It was fascinating. The ad  said there were thirty balloonists invited and although I didn’t count, I know there were lots of balloons there.  It was amazing as it seemed like the field would never contain many of these aircrafts! The public was allowed to sit and watch very close to the actual balloons.  This made it even more fascinating. I never realized they used a generator and fans to begin the process of filling the balloons.

As the first balloons began being filled, there were some breezes that would move them about!  I left everyone and went a bit closer to the first batch.  I met a young lady there with her boyfriend who sometimes rode in the chase vehicle for one of the pilots.  She told me all kinds of information.  She said the pilot has to get permission to land….I had never even thought about that before. She said that some people absolutely refuse to allow a balloon to land on their property, so the pilot must lift up again and go on until they can obtain permission from another property owner.

This was such an exciting adventure!

BALLOONS 6

BALLOONS 7

BALLOONS 5

BALLOONS 8

BALLOONS 9

BALLOONS 10

BALLOONS 11

BALLOONS 12

BALLOONS 13

BALLOONS 14

BALLOONS 15

BALLOONS 16

We actually saw some of the baskets (with people inside!) tumble to one side as the wind blew and caused the balloon to sway!  People from the balloon crew quickly hopped to the rescue and held the basket upright! Some looked as though it took a great deal of effort!

BALLOONS 17

BALLOONS 18

BALLOONS 19

BALLOONS 20

BALLOONS 21

BALLOONS 22

BALLOONS 23

BALLOONS 24

BALLOONS 25

BALLOONS 26

BALLOONS 27

BALLOONS 29

BALLOONS 30

This was so awesome! The balloons just seemed to hang in the air over the gorge!  It was so beautiful. I am so glad we were able to do this!  I plan on making this an annual event!!!

Resurrection Sunday!

We hadn’t been back to visit my parents and Randy in such a long time!  With such a cold winter, we hadn’t gone out much at all.  When we saw that the weather was going to be warm and sunny yesterday, we made plans to visit!

The morning started out a bit chilly, but we saw the temperature outside climbing as we drove along.  I had picked up some pretty yellow Tulips for Mom and Dad and couldn’t help snapping a photo of them against the blue sky as we drove along! Of course, they looked beautiful once Mom placed them on a table in the house!

We went out to eat at the rod and gun club and as usual, the meals were out of this world!  When Mark, the kids, and I discovered prime rib was on the menu, we all ordered that.  Afterwards, we went over to the house. Mark, the kids, and Randy went to a park where they fiddled around flying remote-control helicopters and Michelle walked Murphy. Michelle told a funny story later….seems a foreign woman at the park saw Murphy and thought he was a goat! Poor Murphy….

At dinnertime, we were still pretty full from our large lunch, but Mom had a beautiful veggie tray. Since the sun was shining and it was such a beautiful day, we ate our veggies (along with carrot cake for dessert) outside at the picnic table! We laughed later, knowing full well if we had planned anything like this, it probably would have rained.  Or snowed! We also knew if we told anyone we ate outside on April 20th, they most likely would not believe us!

So….a picture tells all!

We had a great time visiting and as always, it was hard saying good-byes. All in all, it was a beautiful day, well spent!

My Goodness……

I have not been here in ages.  I don’t really like making excuses. but I just deleted three separate posts that I began (one, weeks ago!) but left after having problems uploading photos and not being able to edit them.  I’m not really sure why things are happening as they are, but I have a feeling it might be a problem with our web host. I am using WordPress for this blog and I really like the ease of use but they are telling me I need to update. I think our web hosting site is so far behind the times, I cannot update to the newest version on WP. I am suspecting this might be a probable cause of my difficulties publishing my entries.

‘Nuff said!

Winter has been long and somewhat brutal this year! We have endured some long spells of cold temperatures that were well below “normal”.  We didn’t have huge amounts of snow, but the cold temperatures and wind has caused more weather alerts to pop up on my phone than I ever remember.  Thankfully, the cold is diminishing….little by little. We have even had a few days that felt *warm*!

One week ago, we were given a “Winter Weather Alert”, meaning that we might see some rain, freezing rain, and possibly snow.  Why that alert wasn’t upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” is beyond me! We actually wound up with about eight inches of snow!  It began with a pounding rain early in the evening, changing over to freezing rain, and by 10 pm, it was snowing like crazy!  And the snow!  When I began shoveling Sunday morning, it was like shoveling water….it was heavy! But….it warmed up on Tuesday and Wednesday, and much of it disappeared!

On Tuesday afternoon, I took Murphy outside and he immediately scrambled up onto a snowbank Mark made with the plow. That pup went absolutely crazy, rolling around in the soft (heated by the sun) stuff.

I was afraid he would roll right off the bank, but the snow was so soft, it conformed to his body!

Things have been moving right along here in the Bristolwood.  Michelle is currently looking for a job. She wants to remain in the area, so she has been searching locally. Ben is attending Finger Lakes Community College and is doing very well.  At this point, we are seeing that home schooling didn’t harm either child. (Although they might say otherwise!)

Mark and I are still getting together with friends every Tuesday night. It is a blessing to have such friends and it is a blessing to be able to get together as we do!  We gather around the table for breaking of bread….and wow!…the incredible meals we get!!!….and then Mark and the “girls” practice music together.  Sometimes there are eight or nine people, other times, twelve or thirteen.  I really look forward to these times!

Now I have a great favor to ask.  If you are inclined, would you please pray for a friend?  His name is Mike and he is needing a miracle. I won’t go into details, but God knows Mike and He knows all about the situation.  Basically, Mike needs a healing touch from God.  Thank you, in advance!

Well, I am getting a bit antsy for kinder weather so we can get outside more.  Right now, the wind is a-howling and it is pretty chilly out there. I think the Beatles summed it up fairly well…….. “Little Darlin’ it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter!” Now…..let’s hope “Here comes the sun”!

Well, blow the man down……

Yousers! The wind outside has been tremendously noisy yesterday and thus far today! The trees are swaying and there are big branches everywhere! I guess this is one way to prune back trees!

I got up this morning much later than usual. I was awakened at 3:30 by a young person who was concerned I should load the woodstove so we wouldn’t freeze! I wasn’t very excited about crawling out of bed to do this task, but I did it anyway.  It was still warm in the house, so it wasn’t vital, but it was nice to have the house still warm when I got up this morning. The outside temperature said -13 on WeatherBug, but our thermometer on the front porch was reading closer to -16.  With the wind so brutally blowing,  the wind chill is crazy low!

We still had the Christmas tree up and so one of the first things I did was disrobe it after I bumped it and thousands needles fell like rain to the floor! That tree has been up for over a month, so it really was time to take it down!  The house looks strangely empty now and as I look around, I would love to paint the living room and maybe even more.  I am thinking I am kind of tired of buttery yellow walls!

The little birds outside are visiting the feeders so much, I have to keep refilling them.  It is rather incredible that their tiny bodies can endure this wicked weather.  Somehow, they just fluff up their feathers and keep on going. Amazing little animals! The good news is that the sun appears to be making an appearance today and perhaps things might “feel” a bit warmer. The wind is supposed to subside somewhat as the day progresses and that will be good.  We have not gotten any new snow throughout this event and I heard that some areas were getting blizzard conditions.  We hardly have any snow left from last week and by the end of this week, the weather is forecast to be well above freezing once again.  This is such strange weather!

I took this photo of Murphy before Christmas and it is really a test to see if I can post pictures again. The verdict is, yes!  Looks like Word Press is cooperating once again! Hurrah!

We are supposed to go to our friends’ house tonight for music. We have missed the past couple of weeks because of the holidays, then Carolyn’s mom fell and was hospitalized for a few days. It will be nice to be getting back into the swing of things once again.  Mark just loves playing music and I think he has missed it.

One more aside….When I plowed the neighbors’ driveway, I did it as a “neighborly” thing to do. We had seen the people over there with shovels and Mark and I thought we should help out. Well, on Sunday, the fellow came over and paid us. I felt terrible but he insisted.  Anyway, I found out that the fellow who owns the house is a Buffalo Sabres fan!  Wow!!! I am hoping he and Mark can get together sometime and talk hockey!  How cool would that be?  When I spoke to the man who bought the house last summer, he told me he worked for Bauer..the company that sells sporting equipment.  How awesome it would be if he and Mark can talk serious hockey!!!

 

Last night….

Mark and I traveled to Rochester to see a band I have been wild about ever since I first heard them!  The name of the group is Rend Collective Experiment and they are all the way from Northern Ireland! The concert was held in Chili at a church called The Father’s House.  We had never visited this church before, but it is rather large!

The concert was held with a large amount of seating, but people were seated in other areas as well with large screens so they could see the concert.  Because Mark is in a wheelchair, they had him cut to the front of the line. Wow!  The people working as ushers and security were so tremendously nice. It was an awesome experience the whole way around. We were allowed to go into the room before others so we wouldn’t get stampeded when the doors were opened for seating.  Oh, and this concert was free!

There were two acts that opened the evening.  The first was a band called Bellarive…I had never heard of them before. They were lively and full of energy. A young girl seated in front of us told her friends the lead singer looked like Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean and I guess he did!

The second act was a young woman by the name of Audrey Assad.  She is amazing!  I didn’t hear her name when she introduced herself, but once she began singing, I knew right away who she was…her voice is beyond incredible and her range is awesome!

It seemed like forever before Rend Collective Experiment finally took the stage but the wait was well worth it! We were warned they were going to “get all Irish on us” and teach us all about shenanigans and shindigs.  This group is so good and they certainly didn’t disappoint.  I was “warned” beforehand by security that they didn’t want any “professional photos” taken and I made it clear I am not pro!  Even with my telephoto lens with huge glass, it was challenging getting any photos of this group!  Consider photographing Mexican Jumping Beans in a very dark room…..

Here are some photos.  ( The group consists of four men and a woman who is married to one of the fellows)

What a great opportunity this was to hear a fabulous concert!

Two birthdays down…

Oh yes, November is the “big” birthday month for us!  Michelle, Mark, Carly, and my mom all have November birthdays! Thankfully, Michelle and Mark’s big days are at the beginning of the month, while Carly and Mom’s are at the end, giving a bit of a break in between!

Mark had two friends come over on Saturday to play music.  He met a fabulous jazz guitarist/pianist through his drummer friend, Jim.  So Jim and Bob came down for a visit and they played for quite awhile.  The music was surprisingly amazing….it sounded as though they had played together for a long time!  I wasn’t sure how long the guys would be here, so I made a meal ahead of time but I will share that in another post.  We ate an early dinner and Jim had brought Mark a dark chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting.  How did I not get photos of this day?

Yesterday was Sunday and since we had not “properly” celebrated Michelle or Mark’s birthdays, we decided to head on out to Geneva for Chinese buffet.  As always, the food was tasty and I think we all overate.  Afterwards, we went to BJ’s to pick up a few essentials. I forgot to mention the wind. Yes. The wind. The wind blew so hard yesterday, all day! It was blowing so hard, it felt like my hair was going to blow off my head…

The weather conditions made for some interesting skies!  I love seeing powerful clouds in the sky and there was no lack yesterday!!

 

After Mark and I came out of BJ’s, the kids said they wanted to go over to WalMart for a few minutes. As Mark crossed the road to go there, I nearly jumped out of my seat as I spotted this in front of us!

What an awesome sight this was!  It wasn’t raining where we were, but it must have been off in the distance!  With so many clouds surrounding us, we couldn’t follow either rainbow to see the rest, but I was just so pleased to see this!  By the way, all these photos were taken with the cell phone.  I did absolutely no editing….the colors were really that intense.  A rare treat, indeed!

Plans for today changed this afternoon.  We had several tasks to accomplish, so we decided to go ahead and do them, so off we went to Rochester. After finishing up, we went to visit our friends at their house.  We had a really great time. The sky was blue, the wind was blowing like crazy, and the temperature was much more comfortable than the past couple of days.

Our friends ordered a pizza and wings for dinner. I could not believe my eyes when their daughter, Sarah, and Michelle returned with the pizza box….

That pizza box filled the entire width of the picnic table!  They had told us the pizza is twenty-seven inches across, but it is hard to imagine until one actually sees it! Half of the pizza had Italian sausage on it, and the other half was “veggie”.  It had peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, and broccoli.

So, it is still hard to imagine just how BIG this pizza is, so I will give you a better photo.  This was Michelle and Sarah serving up pieces. I think this photo will definitely give an accurate depiction.

I have seen sheet pizzas, but they are rectangular. This is such a huge round pizza!  And was it tasty? Oh my goodness, YES! What a treat!