I'm thinking I should have taken a picture of this sign during our recent heat wave! I was out pulling the dead leaves and flower stalks from these lilies when I noticed the reflections on the sign as the sun peeped out just before setting. My husband made this sign many years ago and it hangs by our mailbox. Both our children played hockey and when winter cooperates we have a backyard rink. So, we always look forward to winter and the hockey season.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I was sitting on the deck this morning enjoying the sunshine and watching the usual birds at the feeders while working on my school related "to do" list. I had my camera next to me and I was so glad that I did. I've been trying to get a picture of a cardinal for a long time but they are very camera shy around here. Today about four of them flew through the yard. This one landed in a near by tree and then flew out to the garden gate. While it sat there a male flew in and joined it. It appeared that the male was feeding this female but it was really difficult to tell. This one stayed on the gate and the male flew back and forth several times. Unfortunately the pictures of them feeding are all blurry. But I am happy that I finally have a shot of a cardinal even if it was from a distance and I had to crop it!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Today I feel like I'm entering a new stage of life. My friend's children are starting to get married! This beautiful young woman starting hanging out around our house when she was about eight and later became a babysitter for our kids. Today I had the honor of watching her get married. I wish her and her husband a lifetime of happiness and a strong love to endure all of life's ups and downs. Congratulations Mo Mo!
My daughter has started a tradition of making cakes, from scratch, for her friends on their birthdays. Chris celebrated his birthday several weeks ago but my daughter was in Europe at the time and upon her return it was just too hot to have the oven turned on. Finally tonight they were getting together and it was cool to enough to use the oven. Her friends taught me a new birthday tradition. The birthday person makes the first cut in the cake and whoever has the next birthday takes the knife out and makes a wish. I wonder what other birthday traditions are out there. Do you have any special ones to share?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
With the cool, almost Fall like temps today (yeah!), it seemed appropriate to take a picture of the Autumn Joy that is just starting to bloom. My husband dug out my first flower garden over 15 years ago. Even though that first garden is long gone I still have a couple of the original plants and this is one of them. A hardy plant that easily starts new plants to spread around the gardens.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I admit it was after 10 and I still hadn't taken a picture and Gertie was the only one still hanging around so she was my subject for the second time this week. I'm taking a class as part of an EETT grant program. Even though our Macbooks won't arrive until the end of Sept. we had some Mac training today. I've been using one from our school this summer so I know a little bit but still have much to learn. For example, today I found out I can edit a picture in iphoto. So, that's what I did with this picture. That was so easy. On my PC i have to import the picture and then open a different program, open the picture, make the adjustments, save the picture and close the program. Much easier with the Mac. BTW, do you see the red tint to her hair? That's from the peroxide we used trying to get the skunk smell out of her fur.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
I took my son back to college shopping today. While we were out he asked if I would make ribs for dinner. I said sure even though I had never made them before. When I got home I went to Plurk and asked if anyone had a good recipe. Right away I had 2 suggestions. I took the one from Honeymic because it was from a recipe site so it would be easy to follow. They were easy and my son loved them. I'm sure I'll be making them again. BTW I forgot to put the orange slices in the picture. They did add a nice touch. Thanks Michele!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
After a hot and sticky week a storm rolled through this evening. It was short but it rained hard while it lasted. The ditch in front of our house flooded quickly. When the kids were younger they loved to go out and splash after the storms. They've outgrown that fun but tonight we took Gertie out to play catch. She loved it!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I always have so many things I'm going to do in the summer for my own enjoyment. Such as: read lots of books, eat breakfast outside, take a nap on the back porch and so on. Playing the piano frequently was on that list this summer as well. Sadly to say, I did not sit down at the piano all summer until last week! I took lessons for several years as a kid. I'm not good at all but it's something I enjoy doing anyway, as long as no one is around to hear me! We bought this old piano after we bought our house. It's a big old upright. Someday my husband wants to try refinishing it. We'll see, that might be a retirement project. I'm trying to end the summer on a better note as far as playing goes. ;-)
My daughter has wanted to go to this college for a long time. At first she wasn't going to visit because she knew it was going to be so expensive. But then decided she should go look instead. She loved the campus and how active the student body appears to be and the lovely town that surrounds the college. However, she has decided that the college is too big. She prefers the smaller campuses and student bodies.
Today my daughter and I continued the college visit tour. This time we headed east. Our first stop was Springfield, MA. She liked the campus-very pretty and a nice small size. This college is one of two that she'd really like to attend. I think she's in for an exciting senior year full of decisions.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The heavy rain had stopped when I realized I needed to take a picture for today. So I headed out to get a picture of this little sunflower kissed by the rain. The rain helped break the humidity and hot temperatures we've had this week. I hope the flower is enjoying the break as much as we are.
I sat on the deck this evening and watched some great puffy white clouds go by. I noticed they almost looked like they were boiling the way they were changing shape. I went into get the camera and by the time I got back out there they had totally changed. A few minutes later the clouds reversed directions and not long after that we heard thunder and saw lightening come out of them. No rain fell though and they passed by quickly.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Once each summer on a hot day my husband and I go on a tour of our local brewery, Saranac. Today was the day we headed down there. The tour guides are college kids and the one we had today did a great job. He told us some interesting tidbits of information we hadn't heard before. It's a fun tour going through many different parts of the brewery. These copper kettles are beautiful. On a week day you'll often see people working on the beer but it's a quite place on the weekends. A little over a year ago there was a fire at the brewery. Due to the fire the brewery has to contract out their beers to be canned. They are close to having renovations completed but since it's not quite done we didn't get to go in the aging cellars or bottling room. The aging cellars are always are favorite part because it's nice and cool there. Hopefully by next summer the tour will be complete again.
Today my husband and I headed down to the Bouckville antique show. It's a tradition for us. We save our change throughout the year and then that's our money to spend at the show. This had to be one of the most unusual things we saw today. The man selling it said it's a very comfortable chair. I can't quite imagine this fitting into anyone's decor that I know. It might look good in a bar or a shoe store. It does show that there's something for everyone here!
Today I dropped my daughter and her friends off at Water Safari in Old Forge, NY and headed up the road to Bald Mountain. I enjoyed the climb and stopped along the way to take pictures. Just before I reached the fire tower at the top I heard some birds chattering away. I stopped to look for them and there were four young cedar waxwings all sitting on a branch in a row being fed by a parent. By the time I got my camera ready the parent had left and the young had scattered. But I waited and little by little the young ones regrouped near each other, not in the same spot unfortunately since it would have been a much better view for the camera. While they were waiting for the parent to return they were very quiet but as soon as s/he was there they were very noisy. The parent seemed to have one of these berries for each of them every time it returned. It was great to have the time to just stop and watch the process. This was my favorite moment of the day.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
As I was heading out to feed the birds this morning I heard a loud noise in the neighbor's yard and I looked up to see a turkey flying from their yard to the top of a tall tree. It always amazes me to see turkeys flying and it looked really strange to see this huge bird perched in the tree. I ate breakfast outside hoping to see him come back down. I missed it, he must have been much quieter on his descent.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Today I had a relaxing day tubing down the West Canada Creek with three friends. It was raining in the morning but the weather map showed that it was about to end. It turned out to be a perfect day-hot and humid and we kept nice and cool!
Our daughter returned from her European adventure a few days ago. Here are the gifts she brought back for us. One of her longest messages while she was gone was to tell me that she bought me something really expensive and that I had to pretend to like it even if I didn't! Well, no pretending was needed. The glass vase is beautiful and this picture really doesn't do it justice. I'll have to try to capture it alone some day. And yes that is real gold around the top as well as the intials on the wallet.
Cleaning tends to dominate the summer to do list. I tend to leave the kitchen to last so this time I decided to start there. The outward appearance looks good. Now to clean the inside of the cupboards on another day....
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I wanted to add this as a widget on the side but couldn't get it to work correctly. I received an email from Voki today asking people to make an avatar to help fight breast cancer. $.10 for each avatar will be donated to breast cancer research.
So often in the blogosphere and at conferences we hear about passion. Great teachers show passion in working with students and have ways of reaching them, we want our students to be passionate about learning and we want them to follow their passions in their future work place. Well, tonight I went to a concert in which both performers displayed absolute passion for their work and found ways to connect with their audience. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban just beamed and exuded a positive energy during a three and half hour concert. Not once did they look bored, tired, or at all uninterested in their audience. Taylor connected with the audience by having her very expressive face up on the jumbotron while she sang and told stories. At one point she just stood and looked out at the crowd in awe as everyone cheered. She took her earplugs out to have a better listen. Keith connected by walking through the crowd and goingt to a small stage at the back of the arena. When he got up there he asked "Who's go the good seats now?" (That was us.) He sang three songs and moved back to the front. Later he moved to a microphone in one of the ailes. They entertained the audience with an amazing amount of energy that never let up which showed their passion. They also made sure they thanked the audience for coming, multiple times. Keith Urban acknowledged that times are hard for many right now and he was honored that so many people make it to their shows. At the end of his performance the band members tossed out picks and drumsticks and Keith shook hands with those closest to the stage. Then they did something I had never seen at a concert before. The band lined up, put their arms around each other and bowed to the audience. That was followed by credits and pictures of the behind the scenes people. Nice touch. We left the concert with the feeling that these two people love what they do.
Tonight we took our son to the local zoo for the brewfest. When we got there my husband was excited to see that Matt Hamill had a tent set up. He was selling t-shirts and signing autographs.
My husband had met him before and was eager for my son and I to meet this amazing young man. Recently someone who works with Matt had approached my husband for help in setting up their screen printing equipment which he did. In lieu of payment my husband asked if Matt would come and speak to the students at Utica Safe Schools which my husband works at one night a week. Matt did that and my husband came home so pumped up about hearing Matt's story and watching the way he interacted with these troubled students. Matt has been deaf all his life, her reads lips, speaks and can do sign language in several different languages. He has a degree in electrical engineering and was a top wrestler. After college he was having trouble finding a job and was working as a bouncer when someone asked him why he didn't try ultimate fighting. He gave it a try and has been very successful. He also talked to the kids about the importance of studying and staying in school. Then he stayed and answered all their questions, posed for photographs and and signed autographs for all the kids. I'll admit when my husband first told me he was helping an ultimate fighter and that he was coming to talk to the kids I wasn't too impressed, I don't have a high opinion of athletes, especially this type. But after hearing my husband speak I changed my attitude and it helped me realize I need to be more careful about being so judgmental.
Now, back to the zoo. As we waited for our turn to talk to Matt you could see that he's just a down to earth type of guy, not the cocky attitude I would have expected. When Matt saw my husband his face lit up and he introduced him to some of the people working with him Then my son and I got our chance to meet him. He was very nice and as we left he told me to take good care of my husband. My son said Matt is so nice it's hard to believe he makes a living beating the crap out of people!
We've been gone a little less than two weeks but we saw a big change in our veggie garden. A critter of some sort and made it in to eat two of the bean plants, the squash are growing big, the broccoli is all done, some lettuce and herbs are going to seed, the cherry tomatoes are ready and the first real tomato is almost ready to eat! I see lots of BLTs in our future.
Monday, August 3, 2009
On our way to Iowa we stopped by new to us restaurant in Erie, PA. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and they were closed. So, we tried again today and I'm happy to say we have a new favorite restaurant! The Brewerie has a winning combination-great food, beer and atmosphere. It is housed in the train station and it is beautiful with huge rounded ceilings and much of the old station décor has been kept. We had sandwhiches that were delicious and a sampler of their very tasty brews. I was wishing I had our growler and a cooler and a spot to put it in our corvette so we could have taken back some of the Three Berry Weis. I'm hoping my daughter will have a hockey tournament out here this winter so we can return and she's seriously considering a college in Slippery Rock PA so this would be an easy stop when we go to visit!
Today we headed for home! I am so ready to be home and truly on vacation-no classes and no where to go, for at least a few days. My husband wanted to finish our trip on Route 66 in Illinois. Last year we went from Tucamcari NM to Bloomington IL. He also wanted to be able to say that he drove his corvette on Route 66 and he knew this was probably the last trip he'd make with it this far from home. Today we stopped in Pontiac, IL. Recently artists had come in from all over the country for four days to paint murals on area buildings in the downtown area. They did a great job! There were also painted dogs on many of the corners. We also posed by a statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of their beautiful courthouse. Oh yes, they had a nice Route 66 museum with a great photo display from all the states. This picture is in front of the mural behind the museum, they have a road made of CA route 66 bricks that you drive your car on for the photo op. Pretty cool!
As were driving along the Mississippi today we noticed some eagles flying over the river. We found a place to park and walked up to the bike path to try and get some pictures. Then we realized that there were pelicans there too. I had never seen pelicans on the river before. Unfortunately, they didn't come in too close but we enjoyed watching them swoop and soar.