Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tummy Mountain and Mountainous Tummies

The tummy tempting aroma of fresh, bought-in-a-can, sweet rolls wafts through the house... Do I even dare attempt to resist the allure? Or shall I give in and take another moment to enjoy the sweet savor of life? How does one say no to such delicacies? I think I'll take at least one bite. Just one bite can't hurt...

Speaking of sweetness and tummies, this print on my wall is making me smile again. The simple childhood pleasure of jumping on the couch captured on canvas (even though this is actually printed on textured paper...). I once read that a home should be filled with things that make us smile. Hey! My grandkids will be back again tomorrow. (No, I don't let them jump on my couch.)

And then there is my beautiful daughter in law Sabrina whose tummy is also looking slightly mountainous. We're planning a baby shower for two weeks from this coming Sunday. Before you know it we'll be snuggling another new baby.



Dew on yesterday's grass and yarrow. Feeling not quite ready for fall on one hand, and on the other looking forward to it.

So much to think about and so little mind to do it with...

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Old Homestead

Every once in a while the gas and electric company likes to stop by and read the meter. The meter at Mom's house hadn't been read in a while. I set up an appointment, partly to avoid a surcharge, and planned to spend some time cleaning out the garage today. Murphy's Law would say if I had somewhere to be, the meter-man wouldn't come until the very last minute (or later), but today, since I had hours to waste (ha ha!), he showed up about 15 minutes after I got there.

I was blessed to have both my sisters meet me at the house, and together we began the task of sweeping the dirt, dust, cobwebs, and leaves out of our dad's previously pristine garage. We also got distracted by the back porch and living room carpet... We're not done yet, but thanks to a few brooms and a good shop-vac,  it's looking much better.

I am still torn when it comes to our childhood home. One of my sisters said we need to remember that it was the people (Mom and Dad) who made the place special, not the place itself. We aren't selling our memories. Those we keep forever. In spite of those truths, we all get a little teary when we go there. I'm actually relieved to know I'm not the only one. (The photos are a few years old. The yard and gardens  are looking a little rough these days.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Out With the Man

No, I'm not tossing him out the door, we went out the door together. We took a hike and, rather than walking up the creek bed (like most people), I convinced him to take the trail up the "mountain". It wasn't really a mountain, but it could have been. It went straight up, giving us a good cardio workout, and then we peered ever so cautiously over the side of the cliff... Well, he did anyway. I stayed away from the edge. My legs felt like jelly from the climb and I opted not to take any chances.

 Me and he, with matching hats. Mine is hiding my reading glasses which are resting on top of my head.

We found a frog when we were down at the creek.

 Then we started up the road that went straight up the hill. Up and up and up.

James looking over the cliff. (He's braver than me.)

 And then we walked farther up the hill. 

 The view was amazing!

And then back down the road through the woods.

After all that climbing, we had ice cream cones for lunch. His was raspberry custard and mine was Irish cream.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


It was a banner year for zucchini. We've taken way more out of our garden than we've cooked and eaten. Way more! For some strange and unknown psychological reason I can't put my finger on, whenever a have a mega supply of fruits or vegetables (you know, stuff I don't have to pay for?), I sudden have an aversion to actually eating it.
It isn't that I don't like it, because I do. We started the season by slicing it thin, cooking it with chopped bell peppers and onions, and topping it with Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Sometimes both. It was delicious! And then the aversion set in...

Lately we've been attempting to eat zucchini in spite of my sudden aversion to the summer vegetable, and we've discovered some pretty tasty ways to fix it. It disappears faster cut in thick slices so we've taken to slicing them up and topping them with something tasty.

We made zucchini pizzas. We spread semi thick slices with olive oil and sprinkled on some spices, popped it under the broiler for a few minutes, and then topped it with sauce, pepperoni, and some Italian cheese. Back under the broiler to brown up a little and we had a yummy treat! I even at one or two for lunch the next afternoon.

Last night James made his own version of sliced zucchini. He browned the slices in olive oil on the stove top, sprinkled on some spice, and topped it with toasted cayenne peppers and feta cheese. They we a great side to our chicken and rice. Honestly, I think this was my favorite so far.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer's Gone....

It's quiet now, the afternoon far-spent. The children have pulled on their shoes and gone home. There are remnants of playtime scattered here and there...

It was cold outside this morning, like late October rather than mid-August. I put on a sweater and my lace-up shoes, and stayed pretty much inside the house because it's hard to keep track of three rambunctious children out of doors on a cold and windy day.

I'm hoping summer will be back tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I have grandchildren in my house today. They are not quite quiet and tame, rather they are riled and rascally, and in spite of my time of respite with my sister, I do not feel totally prepared to deal patiently with children whose eyes and actions are full of daring and mischief. They are presently attempting to have a bit of rest time while I regroup.

Though it may be that my plate is not near as full as it may have been a year ago, my mind is still full and racing. There is still much to be settled as far as my mother's estate, plenty to be accomplished here at home, and a mind and body that need regular down time (and exercise) in order to function properly. I've missed my Ladies' Prayer and Bible Study the past two Tuesdays and if I am not adamant about being at the next two, they could easily be missed also, and I desperately need them.

I am not very good at saying "no" when asked for my time, and I often mistakenly believe I need an excuse as to why I'm unable, when just saying "I'm not able" should be sufficient. "I can't because..." only leaves room for the other party to come up with a reason why I can or should. *sigh*

There are two weeks left to what we call summer. School starts just after Labor Day and the only thing that will change here, is that I will be putting a girl or two on and off the school bus a few mornings each week. Or maybe I will be... I never really know for sure when or if they will need me, and perhaps it is the "up in the air-ness" that really throws me off. I can be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants kind of person, but I don't care to fly by the seat of others' pants.

So, that is my rant for today. I hope you enjoyed your stay, can relate a little to what I'm saying, and found my mountain photos intriguing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ah, Success!

I did it. I climbed the trail to the top of Mount Jo. I stood at the summit and gazed at even greater mountains. It was pretty awesome... (This will be a long post but it'll be done and I can move on to other things tomorrow.)

We started out Sunday afternoon by dropping kids off at Beaver Camp in Lowville, NY and then headed north, deeper into  the Adirondack Mountains. We stopped along the way to take a few pictures...
 (Stillwater Road) We drove for about 20 miles on two dirt roads in the backwoods. That makes for one dusty car!

 Shoes on a wire over Big Moose Rd. in Eagle Bay, NY

Our first and only bear sighting. I thought I was watching a big black dog cross the road. Why "bear" never entered my mind until Priscilla said, "Look! A bear!!!" I can not tell you. The best photo of him remains in my mind where he still looks like a big black dog sauntering across the highway.

The "Super Moon" over Long Lake on Sunday evening.

We stayed in Tupper Lake the first night. The room was clean, comfortable, and very musty smelling. The owner was nice and friendly, but we decided to pay for the single night, take our things along with us, and give ourselves the option to stay somewhere else the following evening.

We did a little bit of driving in circles, not unusual when you're unfamiliar with a particular area, had a good breakfast, and headed for Mount Jo which is a little beyond Lake Placid.


 Just starting out on our mountain hike.

 On the trail. We took the longer, easier way rather than going straight up. It was a good idea. 

 Froggy friend

 Stopping midway to rest and eat a snack.

 Continuing on. That is the trail, not a creek bed.

 The reward, a majestic view from the top of Mount Jo.

 More snacks. Priscilla is excited. :0)

A fellow hiker took our picture for us, and Priscilla took theirs. I'm pretty sure that farthest peak in the corner behind me is Mount Marcy.

After our hike we headed down to Lake Placid for some walking and browsing in the shops.

 Ski jumps from the 1980 Olympics.

 The view from a balcony where we stopped for some iced coffee. This is Mirror Lake. If I hadn't been so tired from our hike, I might have thought it a grand idea to rent a boat of some kind.

 Fancy hotel next door to the coffee shop. Can't even imagine what it must cost to stay there, but I loved all the activity going on.

Upon hearing we didn't have a room for the night, a woman from one of the Lake Placid shops recommended we look into a travel lodge down the road. (this is her store) Monday evening we checked into a beautiful room with a king sized bed and went to bed before the sun set.

The next morning we ate breakfast at the Country Bear Diner (no credit cards accepted) in Wilmington, NY and headed for Whiteface Mountain.

We needed to kill some time and get the coffee out of our systems so, on the recommendation of a staff member, we climbed the trail to Stag Brook Falls. 


 At the waterfall.

Me and Priscilla

(This is my longest post ever. Are you still there?)

 We took the gondola ride up Whiteface Mountain rather than hiking, but when we got to the top we found we were not on Whiteface like we'd thought. We were instead welcomed to the summit of "Little Whiteface Mountain." The view was astounding in spite of our mistake. That is Lake Placid in the background.

 While on the summit, Priscilla's cell phone rang (We were off the grid for most of the trip.) and she found our old friend Allan on the other end of the line. He will be visiting from Minnesota this coming weekend, in town for his 50th high school reunion. 

 Priscilla on Little Whiteface.
 Whiteface Mountain. Our destination for the next trip.
 Sign at the summit.

On our way home we stopped for ice cream in Long Lake, NY and then later for coffee in a little town called Inlet. There was a nice little bookstore there that sold coffee and I bought a book of Adirondack stories called "Leaky Boots". It was a nice end to a fun, first annual sister trip. Well, I think think it should be an annual thing anyway.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Off To Climb a Mountain... Maybe

That is the plan. Priscilla and I are going to climb a mountain. I am determined. Now if determination can get me to the top, then the top is where I'll be, but I would appreciate a few prayers too. ha ha! (You can start praying anytime, we start climbing on Monday morning.)

I leave you with a few photos from last night's dinner. We don't typically eat flowers, but since nasturtiums are edible, I decided to make our plates look pretty. This Hannah's and mine looked much the same. I ate one flower and left the second. I like nasturtium leaves better than flowers. They're good mixed in with the other greens and vegetables and topped with a bit of salad dressing.

Oreo has turned into quite the beggar and since he thought something on our dinner plates smelled like chicken, he thought he's take a look. (I was going to say gander, but we weren't eating goose... Okay, sorry. That was very poor joke.) I couldn't resist taking his picture. He really is kind of cute, in a naughty sort of way.

So, anyway, I will be signing off for a few days. Don't forget to leave me a note while I'm gone to the Adirondack Mountains with my sister. We should be back by Tuesday evening. I hope my husband and daughter can survive that long without me.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Monkeying Around

Dad used to tell us, "Stop monkeying around!" but I can't help myself... It's not my fault really, it's those silly monkeys, I tell you!

It was another day of small children, just three of them. Two cried when mommy left. They cried in harmony and also did solos. I'm fairly certain neither of them really knew why they were crying by the time they had finished. Ah, to be 3 or 4 years old again...

Yesterday we played sidewalk chalk with Josh and Jake. Today Lucas took it to a whole new level. He is an artsy kind of guy. He doesn't typically sit still for long but he does like to draw. This was his kind of project.

While chasing monkeys through the flowers, I found a little white butterfly who sat still long enough for me to take her photograph.