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!

Photos From this Weekend

Be forewarned that the following photos are quite random!

Actually, if you followed along with me yesterday when I took a ride to Woodville, these photos would make perfect sense!  I decided to take the time to photograph things that caught my eye along the way. So, here we go….

This boat was parked alongside the road near the boat launch.  The name really captured my eye… what a terrific name for a fishing boat!

I parked along the road and walked over to the boat launch, not wanting to get in the way.  There was so much activity!  Boats were going into the water, coming out of the water, and waiting in line in and out of the water!  People were also fishing on the docks.

I am always on the lookout for “new” things and was happy to spot a new sign!

Hmmm….like they say, you learn something new every day!

I posted the two goose photos yesterday in great haste, as we were getting ready to take the kids down to the Teen Skate.  I had made mention that when I arrived at the area where they were, the big goose was acting a little “funny”. In the following photo,  you can see why I was unable to accurately “read” the goose. This was the first of the series of photos I took and as I was “snapping away”,  I never saw that tiny little leg behind the parent’s leg!

In all honesty, I squeaked with delight when I saw the little one wander out in front of the parent goose!

I lingered with the geese for about five minutes, then left,  not wanting to disturb either of the pair. As I drove back toward home,  I pulled over in another little spot where vehicles had worn the grass off the area.  I had to take a picture of the signs…..

Woodville is situated at lake level, coming off a steep hill from the north.  I drove back up the hill, keeping my eyes open for anything interesting to photograph.

Well, I thought this was interesting!

Yes, this is Bristol Springs Free Church. (“Free” not meaning fees are typically charged at chuches! The term signifies that this is, rather, a non-denominational community church)

Do you remember this church had a fire in the “steeple” last summer when it was struck by lightning? Well, a new “crown” was fashioned and I saw workmen using ropes and such to place it a couple weeks ago.  I kept wanting to photograph this,  but I had to park and walk around to get photos without all sorts of utility lines in the pictures!

I love the gingerbread! And, it really does kind of resemble a crown, doesn’t it?

Across from the church were some Forsythia bushes gone WILD!

There is a small restaurant nearby with extremely limited parking available.  I love their sign regarding where NOT to park…..

One more photo….this one from today.  As I was working early this afternoon,  I looked out the window and was surprised to see a pair of Mourning Doves perched in the tree!

I’ve never seen doves near the house before!

The weather yesterday and today has been uncomfortably warm. (at least for me!) Tomorrow is promising a “scorcher” according to the weatherman.  I had a headache on and off all day today…probably from heat! We are assured the weather will cool off come midweek.  I am looking forward to then!

Our Weather Might be Frightful

But, we are warm and safe and….

Sabres game tonight! (and they won a game last night!)

Our weather forecast is calling for “several inches” of snow.  Then right behind this bout of snow is Arctic air. The temperatures are supposed to be the coldest in four years. 

The snow began falling here at about 3 pm.  I had Mark call the store up the road for a pizza about then, and I ran out to get it.  As I drove along the roads, I couldn’t help but think about this horribly annoying sign!

Because we are located in the “Canandaigua Watershed District”,  (all of our runoff ends up in the lake) we must take care with our winter treatment of the roads?  Hmmm….

Here is the state road I had to travel on….

And, welcome to my hill!

It is now after 6 pm and our road still has yet to be plowed! Oh, but think of all the SALT we are saving!  When we first moved here, we had front wheel drive vehicles, and we did pretty well getting up and down the hill.  Then we bought a rear-wheel drive Volvo.  That was before Mark had the injury and we kept it for another year or two.  I did plow the road late at night a couple of times to get us home with the Volvo!  After the Volvo was a rear wheel drive truck. We left it parked at the bottom of the hill a couple of times.  Then came the 4 wheel drive Explorer, and the newest 4 wheel drive pickup.  Thank heaven we were able to buy the 4 wheel drive vehicles! The pickup came right up this afternoon with no problem!

Another Day at the Lake Between Storms

We had made plans to meet my parents and brother, Randy, today,  but the weather forecast ruined our plans.  It was dark and ugly this morning, with bouts of downpours. As the day progressed, however, the sky lightened up and began to look much kinder.  Mark decided we should take a ride to Canandaigua to let the kids have some fun with the kayaks. Michelle had expressed that she really wanted to try her kayak out!

As we drove along the road, it grew darker and darker….by the time we reached Canandaigua, it was grumbling and streaks of light could be seen here and there.  We took the kids to grab a bite to eat, hoping the bad weather would soon pass. While everyone was finishing, I took out my cell phone and looked at the radar maps. It looked like there was going to be some calm weather for awhile, so we headed over to the lake….

I was greeted by this cloud when I looked up. It gives new meaning to the term “Sunfish”….oh, c’mon, the cloud does look like a fish, does it not?


The kids wasted no time filling up the kayaks and rushed to get into the water. I went over a couple of basics with Michelle.  I wonder if they were necessary…she took to the kayak like a fish to water!


As soon as she left the beach area, look who came over to see me! I didn’t go out with the kids as I was feeling a little tired and miserable.


This photo should explain why I was so miserable….it was a BIT humid, after all! Yes, the water probably would have felt good,  but I was just too tired to paddle.


While the kids paddled about, I decided to do a little exploring on land. There is a terrific footpath along Kershaw Park.  It leads to this area….(with its rules!)


Even though it is a “carry in-carry out” park,  some things do not need to be carried out…(thankfully!)


That large puddle at the base of the waste receptacle indicates that there was a slight downpour earlier! Along the path, there is a long dock that goes out into the water. I decided to walk out on it to see what I might see….

A different perspective, looking westward, towards the city pier. (and yes, there is a little fountain there along the park)



Since the length of this dock was incredibly long, I was sure the water must be very deep. It is actually about 2 1/2 feet deep!

One of the reasons I went out on the dock was to get closer to the kids in their kayaks. Ben just couldn’t stay IN the kayak! Oops, we forgot to cinch him in tightly before he set out!


He did snug his jacket up a bit.  I am not so sure what he was doing, but whatever it was, the water he was splashing made for a pretty cool photo!


The Canandaigua Lady docks over behind the pretty restaurant overlooking the lake.


Yes, you read the rules….no feeding the waterfowl. But this mate aboard the Lady was definitely throwing something out to that gang o’ ducks!



I forgot to mention….as I was taking these photos, it was nearly impossible to keep the camera steady. The wind was blowing very hard! I saw a man taking his heavy plastic kayak out of the water after shoving off only a few minutes earlier.  I talked to him a little and he said the kids were doing far better than he. He said paddling was very difficult in those winds. Those winds did not stop my kids. No way!



The kids passed under two bridges and I followed them….they wound up at a lagoon park behind Wegman’s. I would have loved looking around some, but I was watching two kayaking kids and wandering about!


This park is quite “natural” and the only other soul I ran across was a young lady, jogging. Oh, and a bunny. I almost took a picture of the bunny, but it got away.

Below is a map of the compact area….



Shortly after returning home, we were graced with a torrential downpour.

The kids will sleep well tonight! I am so happy they are pleased with the little kayaks. Michelle told Mark how much fun she had and the kids are already making plans for some little “journeys”….

A Taste of the Erie Canal

I had an appointment for teeth cleaning late yesterday morning and when Mark asked if I would like to do anything else when I was done, I gave him a big YES!  The day was warm, the sun was shining, and the skies were abnormally crystal clear!

For quite some time, I have been wanting so much to take some pictures along the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal runs east to west across New York State, joining the Hudson River in the east to Lake Erie in the west. It was built in the 1800’s following the great success of the Bridgewater Canal in England.

Through the usage of locks, the Erie Canal rises 566′ as it makes its way west of the Hudson.  It was used to transport goods across New York on barges drawn by mules. The canal was widened a couple of times and also made deeper.  Today, it is used by pleasure boats and some townships, such as Fairport, offer canal cruises. The name of the Fairport craft is The Colonial Belle.

 The first link above gives a rather detailed history about the canal. In the meantime, here are some photos I took around Fairport. I was scurrying about as the family waited on me, so I didn’t get nearly enough pictures.

This photo shows the lift bridge crossing the canal on the main street running through town.


The steps on the right lead to the little tower where the bridge operator sits to raise and lower the bridge, allowing boats to pass below. If you expand the photo, there is a sign warning pedestrians NOT to walk onto the bridge when the bell (also pictured) rings.  This bridge lifts straight up into the air! The photo below shows the bridge.


I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the ingenious lights on the terrace of a beautiful restaurant that faces the canal…



This gigantic building runs parallel to the canal and houses many businesses.


I walked along the path right up to near the bridge, then went up to the little town of Fairport.


Another outstanding landmark in Fairport has got to be the First Baptist Church. This church has one of the biggest and steepest spires I have ever seen! And look at the photo I was able to capture! (I love the way the sun was shining on it!!!)


And the church from another vantage point…


Fairport is a rather tiny town (the business area, anyway) so I had to step around the corner for a bit of history…

This is The Green Lantern Inn, where Mark and I held our wedding reception……(hmmm….still looks the same!)


As I made my way back to the truck, I nearly stepped on a squirrel as it raced past my feet. Startled me, immensely! It went up a tree just a few of feet from me, stopped on a branch, assessing whether I was a threat or not… had a piece of some sort of food dangling from its mouth….after deciding I was harmless, it sat up and munched while watching me!


A Case for GPS

or….lost in the woods!

I had promised our son that I would take him to a nearby bike trail so he could ride today. He was so happy and so was I as I thought perhaps I might get to take some pictures.

We loaded in the bike and were on our merry way. When we arrived at our destination, Ben unloaded and began to ride. Since we were familiar with the path, he said if I walked the path, he would catch up with me as he would travel around it much faster than I. I agreed.

I sat in the Explorer for a few minutes,  looking at blogs on my cell phone. I wanted to just spend a few minutes relaxing.  It wasn’t long before I grabbed my (heavy) camera bag and hopped out of the car. I locked the doors, dropped the keys into the camera bag, and I was off.

I hadn’t traveled far before I began to take pictures. There was so much to photograph… I walked along the path, feeling great contentment as I snapped a photo here and there. As I walked, I could hear the sound of the brakes squawking on the bicycle so I knew that Ben wasn’t far off.

I was enjoying the sights and scents of the wood when I came to a sign that showed the path running left or right. Hmmm….I figured Ben would want to get the most for his money, so  took the path to the left. Oops.

As I walked about, taking more photos and just enjoying the peacefulness, I realized I didn’t hear the braking noise.  As  I looked up, I thought I saw a yellow marking on a tree, reassuring me that I was still on the correct trail. As I approached the tree, however, I came to the profound realization that what I had seen was actually sunlight creating a mirage to my eyes! As I looked about, I could see I was on a hiking trail.

Since I had passed several crossroads, I decided it would be better to press on than turn back. If I were to go back, I was afraid I might take yet another wrong turn and end up miles from  where I was supposed to be! I picked up my pace a bit, and walking briskly, my eyes sought out anything that might be a clue….

After walking for what seemed like forever, I came to a road. I was so thrilled to see the light of day, although the walk in the woods was so enchanting! The road I was on was really a very long driveway that leads to an observatory.  I walked along the road, thinking I was more than a mile from the bike trail.  I finally came to the main road and I just lifted up a prayer that Ben would be safe and protected and not worrying about me.

I walked, I ran….I was so happy I had replaced my flip flops for a pair of sneakers. As I walked,  my heart kept crying out, as I had no idea exactly how far I was from the bike trail.  As I entered a familiar area, knowing I was almost back, I looked up and saw Ben riding across the road. I called out to him and he came right over to me, asking where I had wandered off to!

We loaded the bike back into the Explorer and  I drove Ben back down the road to where the long driveway met the main road. It was 7/10 of a mile.  I figure I must have walked a good 4 or 5 miles today.

When Mark heard about my little (mis)adventure, he advised me that I might want to grab a handheld GPS.  Methinks I cannot agree more! After this little exercise in craziness, I know a GPS system could have shown me the correct path to get right back where I started.

I am so proud of Ben. He said he wasn’t worried at all, figuring I was off somewhere taking photos! Smart kid, he really knows his mom!

So, here is a sampling of what I shot today. Oh, and by the way, as I was walking briskly back to the car,  I passed so very many opportunities  for some fantastic shots. I just ignored the urge to stop, as I felt an urgency to get back on track!











If You Attend the Naples Grape Festival this Weekend

You will probably be tempted to pick up a grape pie. Being quite a “grape addict” myself, I literally drool at the thought of one of these tasty pastries! And, it just so happens a dear friend of mine (whom I think of as a sister!) makes some of the best grape pies in Naples!

If you have attended the Grape Festival in past years, you might have noticed the large yellow sign parked near the Naples High School.  The sign directs you to Cindy’s Grape Pies. If you follow that sign, you will end up here…..


Yup, this is where Cindy lives with her husband, Jon, and their sweet little “furkid”, Jack. They live in the brown house with the beautiful lush garden of flowers surrounding the house. And, as you walk up to the front door, you will be greeted here at the double Dutch door…


Chances are, Cindy won’t answer the door, as she is chief pie-maker and will be very busy making even more pies!  But I am pretty sure if you look over the Dutch door, you will see her at her craft, as her workstation is in line with the door!


If you are anything like me, making a pie involves a great deal of work. There is the decision to make the pie….then, one must hunt for a recipe for the pastry.  Of course, yet another recipe must be secured  for the filling. Then, all the ingredients must be gathered together and so on and so on. By the time I am finished with my one *meager* pie, an entire day has passed and I feel so successful as my family gingerly downs the labor of my hands!

 And then, there is Cindy…………..


Yes, this is what she would consider a small amount of dough!  And, do you see the size of the bowl of grape filling?


I cannot believe the ease with which Cindy rolls out the crust! She just flops a piece of dough down, rolls it out, and flips it into an awaiting tin! And, the most amazing thing about Cindy is that she can talk and visit as she works!


I met Cindy about nine years ago at church. She is one most delightful individuals  I have ever met! Always a smile on her face, and a friendly word,  it is so much fun to visit with Cindy!


Such a dear and humble piemaker!




Goodness, I think I am going into pie withdrawal just looking at these photos!


Cindy makes large grape pies, small grape pies, grape tarts, grape bread, grape coffee cake, and grape-filled cookies. (if grape pie is too much grape for you, try the cookies….they are delicious!!!)


 And, where you find Cindy, you will certainly see her sidekick, Jack!


Signs of the Season

I wanted to photograph the peaches I bought on Thursday from Wegman’s as I don’t think anyone would believe me if I told them they are the size of a softball. But, they are! Please be aware that the plate these peaches are sitting on is a big full size dinner plate! Oh, and the grapes are the now long gone Fredonia Grapes I bought at the small stand on Thursday. It seems Ben has an addiction that surpasses my own!


I wandered outside late this afternoon with camera in hand, looking around to see what I might see.  Only one of our maple trees in the front yard is showing some real color. I am not sure why this one lonely tree has decided to prematurely slip into its autumn colors, but it sure was pretty against the sapphire blue sky!


Although all the wild daisies have stopped blooming, the yellow daisies I transplanted into the ground from the hanging pot seem to be in “on display” mode! The flowers just keep coming and coming. I am hoping that these flowers will winter well, as they are just plain downright *happy* flowers! I just love their bright yellow faces!


Throughout the day today, we had a few spritzes of rain. It was a changeable day, for sure.  One moment, the sky was that intense autumn blue, with puffy white clouds. Suddenly, the sky filled with a gray ominous presence, then buckets-full of rain would pour down.  And, as suddenly as the rain came, it was once again gone.  Our temperature never rose above the mid-40’s today.  It was 49 when I took the Scotties out this morning, but the thermometer slowly declined as the day progressed….certainly not the “norm”!  That said, I would say without a doubt, this is typical autumn weather. As soon as the leaves begin their short-lived display of color, our annual “monsoon” (tongue-in-cheek, you realize) season picks up, making sure that the spectacular show winds up as litter on the lawn beffore it is fully appreciated….


When Mark and I decided to build a swingset for the kids, we wanted one that would last a long time.  We certainly didn’t want one that would nearly tumble over when the kids got rambunctious!  Mark built a super swingset that would last for years!  The sad part about this swing is that Mark had intended to add a playhouse, perhaps a slide, a tire swing, and maybe even some other components. He certainly never expected to suffer a spinal cord injury at age 38.

Although the swingset isn’t nearly what was intended, it certainly has served to be a source of enjoyment for the kids. When Mark built this structure, he got online and ordered sturdy swings made for school playgrounds!  We used to remove the swings over the winter, but the past couple of years, I left them up.  The humorous part regarding my negligence is that the kids would walk through the snow, up to the beloved swingset and propel themselves just as though it was a warm summer day! The only difference was attire!


I caught Michelle enjoying the swing this afternoon. My kids are hale and hardy….it is so unusual to see Michelle dressed in a sweater, particularly with the hood up!

When Mark first proposed building this swingset to his dad, his dad was a bit discouraging, telling Mark that Mark and his sister rarely used their swings. Undaunted, Mark continued on with his grand plan!  Now his dad is gone and I sometimes wonder if he might be watching in the “great cloud of witnesses”, smiling down on his swinging grandchildren!