Family

Wild Windy Weather!

After the Dancing Wings on Wednesday, it was the Wild Winds on Thursday!

We went out for a Chinese buffet simply because it was a beautiful day and why spend a beautiful day inside?

After eating, we decided we would walk off some of the overstuffed feeling by taking a walk at the Seneca Lake State Park.  It is kind of a tradition for us. Eat. Walk. Enjoy.

We arrived at the park and decided to take the road near the lake….

We *knew it was a little windy, but….

Well, now that the passenger side of the car has been power washed, let’s do the driver’s side!

These photos were all taken near the breakwall and it was vicious! The funniest part of all of this is that our particular area had no high wind warnings at all.  I had a couple of alerts come up on my cell phone, as I have various places we often visit set to alert me of any crazy weather.  When I got home, the weather info set to my area said the wind was gusting up to forty-three miles per hour.  I think it might have even been more by the lake!

And here is a nameless soul…..(notice the trees in the background)

And last, but not least, there were three men out playing in the water!  Boy, you should have seen them flying!!!!

The temperature reached into the lower 70’s, so it was mild, but the wind?  Phew………………….

 

Where Does Time Go, Anyway?

Yesterday was an incredibly busy, busy day!

On Sunday night, Mark’s mom called to remind Mark she had a doctor’s appointment yesterday afternoon.  We rushed around in the morning, getting ready to go and even in so doing, left later than we had planned.  We got to my mother-in-law’s house and she told us her appointment was actually twenty minutes later than what she had told us.  She had gotten the time wrong and didn’t look at her calendar until we were on our way.  Well, that gave us a bit of time to relax and catch our breath!

While waiting for Mark’s mom, we drove on over to the Home Depot to park; the hospital where her appointments are is so busy and the only place to park is in a ramp. While we were there, I went inside to take a look at the nursery.  Wow!  They are getting in some beautiful plants!  I walked up and down the aisles, several times, just taking in all the wonderful colors and textures!  My Crocuses are pretty well spent and now everything is looking pretty dull once again!

We had dropped Mark’s mom off shortly after 1:30 and figured she wouldn’t be too long.  She finally called after 3:00.  That was a bit longer than we thought it would be and we needed to really hurry!

Mark has been getting together with other musicians and they are working on a few songs.  One of the people is a woman who lives about 25 or 30 miles from us.  She is a talented singer and is learning to play the guitar.  She and her husband have been coming to our house once a week and she and Mark practice together.  This week, they had invited us down, not only for practice, but for dinner.  We were so excited!

Bill, the husband of the singer, loves to cook and bake.  Since he is home more than his wife, he prepares meals.  And believe me, his meals are far from ordinary! We had gone to their house for a Passover Seder and Bill made the most memorable matzo ball soup!  When he asked what we might like to eat, Mark mentioned the soup. So…..we began last night’s dinner with a bowl of matzo ball soup.  It was so good, particularly since I had not eaten since 6:30 in the morning.  I had made a piece of toast! After the soup, we had a most awesome salad, along with jello piped with real whipped cream on top.  Bill told us the jello was not dessert, so eat it along with the salad!

The salad was topped with chicken breast and homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette…it was so delicious, I can still taste it! Add to that the rolls….he told us the recipe was a very old recipe from his grandmother and they were so delicious!

Desert was homemade French Vanilla or Chocolate pudding.  I had the French Vanilla and it was also piped with whipped cream.

Mark and Carolyn wondered how they were going to practice after the meal! It was so good!  The house is set up with an open concept, so they just moved a few feet from the table and set up. It was so nice to listen to their music after an incredible meal!  They played, listened to some music, then played some more.  It was well after 11:00 before we finally left, arriving home at midnight!

What a long day it was.  But one of the best parts was…..Bill not only sent home some of his soup and rolls….

But also a package of his homemade hotdog buns!

Wow! I think today’s menu will consist of soup, rolls, and a Greek salad.  Why am I suddenly hungry again?

This. and That!

I thought I might share just a few more photos from our little outing on Saturday.

You cannot even *imagine* the scent in the room above!  It was overwhelming, at best.  There was every variety of springtime flower there!

As I walked into this room, the mister above was on….all I could think about was how it must have been walking through the Garden of Eden!

A beautiful Koi swimming in the small pond.

I always enjoy my visits to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.  The flowers there are ever-changing with the seasons and it is really a relaxing destination!

After we left the gardens, we headed on over to Niagara Falls.  This is another place I love seeing any time of the year.

As I was taking photos, this little Sparrow came right up to me and sat by my feet!

It was a long day, but it was so good to get out into the fresh air.  There was even some sunshine, although it diminished as the day progressed. All in all, a very good day!

Well Then!

I had a dentist appointment at 5:30 on Thursday evening. I had spent the day in Rochester, trying to forget about the dentist….I am unsure if anyone hates going to the dentist more than I!

I arrived at the office a few minutes early and was taken right in.  Now, have you ever seen photos or heard of racehorses at the track before a race?  They paw at the ground and act downright skittish, anxiously awaiting the gate to open!  Now you know how I feel walking into the dentist’s office!

Mind you,  I thought I had the right to feel as I did, particularly on this day, as a NYC dentist by the name of Bruno Spagnoli predicted the tooth that was desperately needing work  would need a root canal.  He said it might be six weeks or six years.  But that was over twenty years ago.  I have had two root canals and they really were not bad at all, but I dislike sitting in the dentist’s chair for hours at a time!

The fact that this tooth was the last molar on the bottom right made me know that the event was going to be painful.  The dentist saw how upset I was and advised me that they could give me a sedative I could take before coming back another day, but I would have been insane to prolong this!  I told the dentist I would be fine.  And, I was.  I was in the chair for three hours and yes, it hurt.  But, I will get a crown on the tooth and all will be well.  For that, I am grateful. But I still am a bit sore where the needle went in to give the Novocaine.

Yesterday was a busy day with Mark and the kids working on some excavating we had done earlier in the week.  Even though we had to cart water for a couple of months, when the excavation was done,  it hit a spring and water was flowing into the swale the fellow made!  Thankfully, our well is fine now, but Mark was concerned the small bank created for the swale might cave in.  So, the kids were hauling large stones out of the woods to kind of build a wall to reinforce the swale.  While they worked on that, I raked leaves.  My back just will not tolerate picking up heavy things, and I was hurting whenever I bent over.  I got over half of the lawn done, so I was happy.

Today, Mark got together with a few people to practice music.  When we had the music event at Ontario County Park in August,  Mark and his friend Jim were impressed with two ladies who sing together.  They asked if they might like to form a little group and they said yes, so Mark, Jim, the ladies, Jim’s daughter, and Ben get together about once a month to practice.

Today was not only practice, but also Mark’s birthday!  It was an amazing birthday and Mark was blessed beyond belief! Jim’s daughter (Sarah) made a phenomenal casserole that was yummy, yummy, and yummy!  I made a salad and at the last minute, made a batch of rolls.  We all ate and then it was time for a birthday cake. THIS was extraordinaire!!!

It turns out one of the ladies could not make it to practice because of work, so the other lady brought her hubby along.  Holy mackerel!!! This man cannot only cook, but he BAKES!!! AND, he even cleans up after himself!  Bill is NOT a chef, nor baker, but a building contractor!!! He does the cooking and loves creating.

The cake was chocolate, but far from “just” chocolate.  He told us it had cocoa, black cocoa, sour cream, and coffee added in! He said the added coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.  Wow.  The cake was moist and very, very chocolatey!  There was cherry pie filling on top and the cake was decorated with whipped cream “stars”.  The creation looked like it took forever to make, but Bill said, no, doesn’t really take that long!

We had such a great time and the stress free meal was incredible!  I even had time to finish raking the lawn while the group practiced! This was not only an incredible day for Mark, but for the whole family as well!  As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I am so thankful for such wonderful friends and good times.  I feel like God has blessed us…..really well!

Another (Birth) Day!

Today we celebrated Michelle’s twentieth birthday…..it just does not seem possible she is that old. Where did the time go?

Michelle and Ben designed this day according to Michelle’s wishes.  Michelle’s boyfriend, Jacob, arrived here shortly after 7:30 am, as planned.  Ben made waffles and bacon for breakfast.  After breakfast, the kids watched television for a bit.  Then Michelle opened presents and we were off to Canandaigua to purchase items to pack for shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

After our shopping was completed, we were on to Victor, to the Olive Garden Restaurant.  We had a nice time there and the photo above was taken there….Michelle kept asking me not to photograph her while she was eating, but I really wanted a good photo of her! This will have to do.

A very busy day, all in all and everyone is exhausted.  Even Murphy.  For one reason or another, he insisted it was time to arise at 3:30 this morning. Argh…..this has been an incredibly long! day!

Another Autumnal Delight

How is this trio of trees for color?  On a little walk in the front “yard” (woods) I  kept looking upwards and found these trees all in the same vicinity.  I think they posed quite nicely.  On the left is a Maple,  the center is a White Oak, and the tree on the right is what my brother, Bob, calls a Pignut Hickory.  I took these photos on Monday.  Yesterday it rained nearly nonstop the entire day and today was just downright dismal!

We worked on the camper today and finally completed our makeover.  The work was long and tedious, but the camper looks fantastic and there is no telltale odor from the water damage.  I was impressed.  I thought Mark was taking on a far too complicated job when he decided to try to repair one of the wall panels that had become delaminated.  When our friend Ben and our Ben removed the panel from the wall, it was like removing strands of toothpicks.  With Mark’s tenacity, he meticulously glued the strands back in place.  Where there was a void with no material to work with, he built the panel up.  After each session (and there were many!) he would add a layer of plastic wrap over the panel so any oozey glue would not stick to anything, then he placed buckets filled with gravel to weight all the work down and compress the panel.

The carpet had to be torn out and replaced, along with a section of floor that got wet and disintegrated.  The plywood was replaced and Mark labored over trying to find a good piece of carpeting.  It is incredible just how hard it was to find a match.  I wanted a carpet that was more “dirt friendly”, that is, less likely to show every little bit of dirt that came in like the previous carpet.  Mark was concerned about finding a good quality rug that was similar in height to the previous one.  One day, he and Ben went to Home Depot and found the perfect carpet.  I was a bound rug but was the right size.  We had to purchase a few carpet installing tools and the guys also found a great padding for under the carpet.

The carpet had a curve when it was installed originally and I told Mark it really didn’t matter to me how they installed it.  Well, not wanting to mess up the original design, Ben did a fantastic job of  replicating the original installation.  I was in awe!  The carpet could not look any more professional than it does.  Kudos to Ben for his great work!  I must add than in the process of all this, the sofa had to be removed as well.  The original installation of the sofa left some to be desired, so Ben built a ledger strip on one wall to give the sofa a bit more strength and durability.

There were many, many more little steps along the way….and things that needed to be replaced or repaired.  The front of the oven had some rust on it, so Mark removed the panel and repaired and painted it.  We put up a new miniblind near the door, as Angus used to go ballistic when he watched out the window and saw other people or dogs nearby.  There were other picky little jobs, like replacing wooden plugs on a handle inside the door.  All the little jobs added up to many hours spent!  But the camper actually looks as good as it did when we bought it some nine years ago!

We bought that camper so we could travel with our little Angus and not have to leave him behind at a kennel. We called it our little travelling doghouse on wheels.  We went all the way to near Philadelphia to purchase the camper.  On our way home, we decided to stop at Corning Glass for a tour.  I placed Angus who was all of five or six months old, into a little plastic kennel.  The wee puppy would be safe in his kennel in the bedroom.  The air was cool and we had a fantastic fan installed just for our Angus.

When we returned from our tour, boy, were we surprised!  Our little Angus proved to be quite the Houdini!   I had failed to secure the top tightly in place and the rambuntious little pup managed to “pop the top”!  I opened the door and was greeted by a wild little pup who raced from one end of the little camper to the next,  joyously greeting me!  Angus loved that camper.  If the table was up, he would hop up on it so he could survey his kingdom from the highest point.  And yes, he also sat in the chair and lunged at the window, making a mess of the (cheap) minblinds.

Murphy now rules over the kingdom, but he is happy to just ignore what is happening outside.  He merely awaits the next morsel to fall inside the camper….

We winterized the camper and it will be placed on its little plateau for the winter. Oh, it feels so good to have completed this project!  Phew!

Before I Say Good Night!

Today was a fun day for the kids.  We went to Darien Lake Theme Park for the day.  We met up with some other friends and spent a fun-filled day.  The kids rode rides and played in the water at the waterpark.  I walked around and was totally amazed when my foot didn’t hurt at all!  I even switched from wearing sneakers that I thought would provide great cushioning for the foot, to flipflops when I grew increasingly hot!  I had no problem with pain…..even walking about inn flipflops.

We got back home around nine-thirty. We stopped along the way at Tom Wahl’s to pick up some burgers and celebratory 99 cent floats. This was the last day to get the deal on the floats, so it seemed almost mandatory!

Here is a photo, untouched, that I took of a butterfly among the flowers….

It was a beautiful day.  The temperature stayed in the mid-eighties at the hottest, and there was a cooling breeze the entire day.

Oopsie!

I didn’t post here yesterday, but…..well, it wasn’t my fault! We had lots of running around to do yesterday.  We left here early and didn’t return until eleven thirty!  Phew…such a busy day!

We began in Canandaigua. We had to run to the bank. Then we were off to Farmington.  We stopped and picked up Chinese for everyone.  There is a restaurant that gives one huge portions, plus soup, for about $5.00 for lunch.  Mark and I had Szechuan Chicken and the kids each had Sesame Chicken.  The lunches are really good. And filling! After lunch, were made our way to Victor.

We stopped at Home Depot to pick up a few items, when what should greet us practically right inside the front door?

Yup! This beautiful Orchid!  There were so many to choose from, too.  Mark and I looked and looked at them and picked this one.  The best part was that they were only $9.99! We looked around for the other things we came for, then were ready to head on over to Henrietta. As we returned to the car, though, I told Mark I wanted to stop at the garden center at Home Depot before we left.  I had been there the week before and they had marked down their Butterfly Bushes.

I really like the two Butterfly Bushes in front of the house. One is a pale purple color. I bought that one from a reputable nursery.  It is HUGE this year. I think I paid about $12 for that bush years ago.   Next to it is one I bought for $3 when it was drastically reduced to get rid of all the nursery stock at WalMart, also years ago! It has attained great heights this year, soaring to over six feet tall! Although not as bushy (probably my fault for not shaping it!) as the nursery bush, this bush is not lacking for flowers!  They are big and beautiful!

So….back to yesterday, I looked around at the bushes and found two that I bought.  They are small and kinda reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, but I know they will grow well here.  One is a purplish-pink kind of fuchsia color……

and a pink one that caught my eye….

We are planning (still) to relandscape our side yard between the house and garage, and I am hoping to plant these bushes there.  I would like to add a fountain or some type of water feature next year.  This area has been long neglected….

The butterfly bushes will add so much color!  I love those bushes and have seen many butterflies on them as well as hummingbirds dtopping by for a sip! Oh, and speaking of butterflies!  WOW!  As we left Canandaigua, we went the back roads.  As we passed by fields, I could not believe all the butterflies!  We must have seen fifteen or twenty Monarchs just while driving!

After the Home Depot, we went to Henrietta, where we went to several stores!  I have had some trouble with my ankle hurting lately.  It seems the pain goes from my ankle to the top of my foot and hurts worse when walking around.  So, Murphy and I waited in the car a bit while Mark and the kids shopped.  Then we went to the Salvation Army Store.  Michelle’s shopping mecca!  She and Ben found so many things.  Then they went to another thrift store called Savers.  Michelle found an amazing winter coat…it is a pea jacket style that is beautifully made by American Eagle.  She paid $15 for it and it is so beautiful.

By this time, it was nearly nine o’clock!  I had to run into WalMart for a few things.  Mark and the kids waited while I went into the store. Wow! It was like entering a whole ‘nother world! Inside the store,  there were seemingly hundreds of foreign students shopping for all manner of things!  The aisles containing school supplies and home goods were packed with folks speaking in differing languages!  These people were more than likely students at RIT, where Michelle attends college.  As I thought about it, these young people must be so smart!  I could never imagine going off to a foreign country to study….it is hard enough just understanding the English language!

We were finally off to go home, but had to stop at the new Dairy Queen!  I think everyone else had the same idea!  We waited in line for over half an hour for our ice cream cones! Were they worth it?  Ha! You bet!

By the time we got everything in the house and put away, it was nearly midnight.  A long, long day.

So…now you know *why*  I was not here yesterday!