house and home

Hummer Fun

This afternoon, I had to clip you-know-who’s nails.  He really isn’t thrilled to get his nails clipped, so I have to muzzle him.  After doing his nails, I got my camera and sat on the floor for a few minutes with him.  I had placed a hummingbird feeder outside my window, and as I was on sitting there, a bird came to feed!  I quickly snapped away! Unfortunately, this was far away and also through the window, but I got a photo!

 

 

Wishing you were here…..

so you could experience the fragrance that is filling the entire downstairs of our house!  Our Lilac bushes suffered from the severely cold winter.  Instead of being filled with loads of flowers like last year, the flowers made a sparse showing this year!  In fact, I also lost my two Butterfly bushes in front of the house over this winter.  I decided since there weren’t that many flowers on the Lilacs, I might as well clip them and bring them inside to enjoy!

Evidence….

that is coming.

Forget the fact that it was 12 degrees this morning when I got up at 5:30. I grudgingly trudged to the garage and gathered kindling and wood to make a fire in the woodstove.  Yes, for the past two or three days, this wasn’t necessary and I had already resigned myself to the fact that I might no longer need to build and maintain fires in the stove.  Ah well…

We do know that warmer days are coming no matter what the thermometer says today!

I am a sucker for flowers. I love having flowers in the house. They are cheerful and add so much color!  I couldn’t resist this Spring Cactus as I was walking through Walmart last Thursday.

We have had some temperatures that were so warm, I actually grumbled a bit because I got overheated doing my work around the house! We had the windows open and one night, we ran the whole house fan the entire night to cool the house! With all this warm weather, the tiny Crocus plants I had uncovered from a deep bed of leaves practically flowered overnight!

I always had problems in the past….it seems the bulbs I planted for some spring flowers would disappear!  This year, however, it seems as though the crop of springtime harbingers has multiplied immensely! I have so many pretty Crocuses in purple, white, and stripes! As I photographed some on Sunday, I noticed another sign of spring in the form of a Bumblebee working away to gather pollen!

I did save the best for last, though.  As I was working in the bedroom, a Goldfinch caught my eye. I could see that the vibrant yellow coloration was returning to a little male sitting on a branch outside the window.  I walked over and grabbed a camera, but when I returned, the little bird had flown off.  Disappointed, I was about to walk away from the window when something else caught  my attention……

Yes, this beautiful little male Eastern Bluebird sat and posed so nicely for just a few seconds! What a treat!

Today, the temperature is to remain only in the 30’s, but then it is supposed to warm up into the 50’s the rest of the week!

Last night, we attended a Passover Seder at the home of our friends, Bill and Carolyn.  Mark has been practicing with Carolyn, Sue, and another Carolyn for music for not only last night’s Seder, but another one on Saturday night.  Bill is such a tough guy….on Sunday night, he got the chills, then became a bit “out of it”. After reducing a fever, he went to the doctor on Monday morning. The doctor ordered an x-ray and found Bill had the beginnings of pneumonia in his right lung.  When he told me on Monday when I spoke to him, I asked if he would still be able to have the Seders!  He replied that of course he would! He had already done lots of his preparations on Sunday.

The Seder last night was wonderful.  Bill made a fantastic meal to follow the reading of the Haggadah.  Please pray for Bill. Although he is a tough guy, even tough guys need some rest!  The music was awesome as well.  The only downside to the night was that it was bitter cold and the roads were slippery! Thankfully, our trip home was non eventful.

Although it is chilly outside today, the sun is shining and we are cozy and warm inside!

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!!!

 

Birdwatching. Again.

Yes, today I just could not help myself. Imagine three cameras, assorted lenses, and numerous SD cards strewn about.  Yes, that was me for a couple of hours late this morning.  I am so thrilled by the new feeder I have in the window, I just couldn’t help myself!

Please click on these photos to enjoy them in a larger size.  As you can see, the most frequent and least frightened birds to the feeder are goldfinches.  I was getting rather antsy to take photos, so I used the flash and the finches didn’t seem the least bit concerned!  They are such cute little birds.

The finches weren’t the only birds at the feeder. I had a few titmice come as well.

These birds are so easily frightened!  They come momentarily, then fly off like rockets!

I also had chickadees. I am hoping as the weather gets colder, I will see some more varieties of birds.

Oh, and one more thing!  I actually cleaned this window this morning…..birds are dreadfully messy!

 

Why we live where we live….

Ah yes!  Autumn…..fall….whichever you call it, this is such a beautiful time of the year! As I mentioned in the previous post, we have truly been spoiled rotten this year.  Instead of cold rain and brisk breezes, we have been enjoying warm days with bright sunny skies.  It is unusual, really, but in listening to the weather forecast yesterday, the beautiful weather might be displaced by more typical weather and temperatures in the coming days. That is fine….the woodshed is full and things are fairly well buttoned up and we are ready! (How did that happen?)

Speaking of firewood…we have not had a fire in the woodstove this autumn.  There have been a couple of days that were a little chilly, but not really cool enough to fire up the stove! With Ben now cutting our firewood, we have more than enough.  We not only have the woodshed filled, but we also have several neat piles of firewood stacked in the woods!  I love it!

On Saturday, it was so amazingly beautiful, Mark and I decided to take a ride through the woods on the atv’s.  Of course, I took a camera along….I would not want to miss one picture!  It was so, so beautiful after all!  So, come on along and you will discover why I always dreamed of living in the woods. (especially  this time of year!)

So many awesome, incredible, amazing colors! As the wind begins to blow and the rain moves in, these days are sure to come to an abrupt end.  Although the days like this are far too few, knowing they are short lived makes us only appreciate them all the more!

So I went for a ride in the country. Hope you enjoy!

Every year around this time, two things happen.  The first is that I want to totally run away from home.  The second is that I feel like I can never take enough photos of the colors to carry me through until they appear again next year.

I had to make a run to BJ’s in Geneva yesterday, so since I left the house long before they would open, I decided to take the “long backroads way”.  The sky. Ha! It was awesome!

And as I progressed, I spotted a sundog!

I didn’t process that photo at all. The colors really were that outstanding! As I made my way along, I rolled the window down, even though the air had a chill to it.  Since I was only wearing a summer sweater, I do admit, I turned the heat on just a bit! As soon as the window was down, I could hear that all too familiar call of migrating Canada Geese above!

I arrived in Canandaigua, then headed onward toward Geneva. I love taking the backroads and was thrilled, as I would be passing through the Mennonite area. I love doing this, as the farms are so beautiful. Not only is everything picture perfect, but most every house is decked out with colorful flowers all around.  The gardens are scenic with their prolific offerings! I passed by one greenhouse that is always so pretty and the sprinklers were up and operating!  Shooting into the sun made for some cool photo ops!

I wonder if the folks inside the house saw me and if they did, if they thought it crazy to photograph sprinklers! It didn’t matter, as no one bothered me, and it was so peaceful just watching the water splashing onto the greenery below. I made my way on down the road and was impressed by the lovely sign at a crossroads.  All of the businesses listed on the big sign are indeed Mennonite.  I am sure the little sign is also a Mennonite sign as well.

And of course the colors in the foliage offered a splendid showing all their own!

The cornfields also offered some surprisingly beautiful colors as well, believe it or not!  The sunlight was so golden and I think everything was glowing! It was interesting seeing the corn in various stages.

Look at those tassels in the sunlight!

I rode on past the Mennonite church.

and thought I would photograph the empty horse stalls. These buildings are huge!  They can hold so many horses and buggies!

This particular Mennonite community would be considered “Old Order” in that they use horses and buggies and bicycles to get around. The more progressive communities do allow dark-colored “not too fancy” automobiles to be driven. I drove on past a Mennonite schoolhouse.

I drove past fields of soybeans covered heavily in dew. (although they look like they are coated in frost!)

I drove on an entered the little town of Gorham where I encountered a couple in a horse and buggy. Luckily for me, there was traffic coming in the opposing lane, so it wasn’t awkward for me to stop momentarily to snap a quick photo.

As I passed this couple, I noticed the woman on the left held a little pink bundle on her lap! It is interesting to note that buggies are driven on the right side….that is, the person guiding the horse is on the right.

I also passed the church in Gorham that was offering a most excellent display of color!!

And as you can see, the sky was also putting on a show of its own!

I kept driving along until I came upon a most wonderful stop! At an intersection, there were large wooden crates filled with pumpkins and squash and the like.  A cart offered Indian corn and pumpkins were also lined in rows. This is where my wildest cravings for autumnal colors were satisfied!

And for one of my most favorite things about autumn!  I love Indian Corn!! It is so pretty.  It reminds me of multi-colored beads. Or the beads remind me of the corn.

So now you have had your fill of Indian Corn?  Not me. Not ever. I love all those awesome colors on each and every ear! And as I turned to go, I noticed this photo op….

Not too shabby, huh? Time was passing and I really needed to get my shopping done.

It is always hard for me to end my little excursions, particularly when I am so enjoying my time out.  I did my shopping and returned home where Mark was playing around with a new amplifier he had purchased for a  friend.  He wanted to make sure it sounded good and was working well before passing it along.  He was having so much fun playing, then he called Michelle and I downstairs….

As he was playing, he said he noticed leaves and sticks moving up a tree in the distance! As he looked more closely, he saw a little squirrel carrying the loads! I walked down to the tree where he saw the squirrel…..to my dismay, it is very near *my* Shagbark Hickory where I found all those nuts! I hid behind a tree and was able to get this…

Yup. That little hole is just the right size for a tiny squirrel to wander in and out!